In the August edition of the BIC Bulletin, we look at our policy, advocacy and technical outcomes associated with the Jobs and Skills Summit 2022, the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DASPT) Standards Reform and provide our learnings and insights on the first Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) industry briefing by Transport New South Wales (NSW). We also highlight important safety messages from the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) Safety Advisory relating to the commissioning and servicing of bus and coach fire suppression systems
What’s new in government
Jobs and Skills Summit 2022 – Surface Transport Roundtable
Preceding the September 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit, on 25 August 2022, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP alongside the Hon Senator Carol Brown, convened a roundtable discussion with stakeholders from across the surface transport sector. Several transport mode-agnostic solutions intended to boost supply chain productivity end-to-end were discussed, including:
- Changes to migration settings and incentives for returning workers
- The recognition of appropriate occupations through ANZSCO
- Supporting national accreditation
- Initiatives to attract women, diverse and new employees
- Recognising the need to facilitate job re-design and upskilling
- Specific national training in electrification and hydrogen vehicle servicing and associated services
- Beneficiaries of skilled transport workers
- Supporting and scaling up existing industry-led initiatives
- Investigating transition pathways for ex-military personnel to move into the transport sector
- Supporting a national maritime industry training program
- Improving the availability of re-validation courses
- Reforming compliance penalties, and
- Reviewing the resilience of Australia’s Freight and Supply Network.
In the lead up to the Ministers Roundtable, the Bus Industry
Confederation (BIC) facilitated several virtual meetings with the state association executive directors, the Zero Emission Buses (ZEB) Committee, a small group of suppliers and select members of the Industrial Relations Working Group (IRWG). These meetings ensured that the BIC understood new and emerging challenges, opportunities, and solutions. These findings were drawn upon at the Minister’s Roundtable, including survey responses which have provided valuable data led insights relating to the serious implications of driver, diesel mechanic and trade shortages across operators, manufacturers, and suppliers.
Outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit comprise agreement on 36 immediate initiatives. The Albanese Government have committed to ensuring full employment, productivity growth and equal opportunities for women as central
objectives of its economic and fiscal policy. We are proud to report our pensioner advocacy work was successful with the introduction of a new one-off income credit for Age Pensioners. This credit allows pensioners to earn an additional $4,000 per financial year without being negatively financially impacted.
Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT)
The BIC have provided a high-level overview at the BIC National Summit on the current reforms being undertaken by the Australian Government into the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Standards
(Transport Standards). We recently submitted a response to public consultation on Stage 2 of these reforms to the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the Department).
Consultation on proposed updates to the Transport Standards commenced in February 2021, examining 70 reform elements over 2 stages. These 70 reforms will broadly impact the entire bus and coach industry. Stage 1 (16 reforms) has been completed with a Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) being published by the Department in February of this year. Public consultation on Stage 2 (54 reforms) commenced 15 March and
closed on August 9, 2022.
Stage 2 reforms include proposals for new and updated regulations such as:
- The treatment of dedicated school buses and the removal of current exemptions
- New reporting framework to capture compliance data
- Information communication technology, such as the deployment of information in various formats (e.g., digital signage and web applications)
- Equivalent access and options for an independent review body
inclusion of rideshare services
- Accessibility on conveyances and at boarding points, and
- Implementation/compliance frameworks for all 70 reforms for Stages 1 and 2.
The BIC would like to acknowledge the valuable input provided to us by state/territory jurisdictions, members of the Bus Australia Network, and the bus and coach operator representatives across Australia who formed BIC’s DSAPT Committee – providing their input, experiences, and considerable time to support the BIC Secretariat during this reform process.
NSW Government’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Initiative
Government has announced it will invest $5 million for an on-road Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) bus trial to launch and accelerate autonomous vehicles on NSW roads and the lead the way for a future national CAV fleet. With driverless vehicles expected to be commercially available within the decade, the Government’s new NSW CAV Readiness Strategy sets out the State’s pathway to ensure the road network is CAV-friendly in the future. Victor Dominello, Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government has said he wants NSW to be world-leading adopter of CAV technologies. “Vehicle connectivity and automation are game-changing technological innovations with the potential to sustainably transform the future mobility of people and goods,” Mr. Dominello said.
Transport NSW held the first Connected and Automated Vehicle
(CAV) Industry Briefing on Tuesday 23 August. The On-road Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Bus Trial will be the first trial of connected and autonomous systems on-board a full-sized, passenger-carrying bus in NSW. This trial is a key initiative of the CAV Readiness Program and will help enable CAV readiness across the future NSW bus network. Evidence suggests CAV technology in buses has the potential to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of buses, which are important benefits for customers, bus operators and staff.
The Government’s industry engagement approach is to invest in local R&D capabilities, to leverage global expertise and emerging technologies, to drive local industry development in NSW. The trial will focus on identifying and testing the CAV technologies capable of integration onto the NSW bus network
in the short and medium term. The NSW Government will be opening expressions of interest calling on industry to collaboratively develop the On-Road CAV Bus Trial. The RFEOI for this trial will be available through e-Tender from Monday 8 August 2022.
To support industry planning and readiness for on-road CAV buses, Government will be inviting industry to connect and engage via the NSW Bus Industry Collaboration Portal which opened Monday 8 August 2022. Industry portal registrations are limited to one person per company, so be sure to consult with your colleagues and identify your organisations representation.
To find out more information on Government’s CAV and future transport strategies, refer to the following online sources:
Important Messages from Government
The New South Wales (NSW) Government’s, Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) has issued Safety Advisory SA03/22 (Commissioning and servicing of bus and coach fire suppression systems) following an active fire incident within the engine bay of a tourist coach. OTSI inspected the coach and found an isolation device was fitted to both Engine Bay Fire Suppression System (EBFSS) agent tanks, which prevented the system from discharging the suppression agent.
The EBFSS is an important device to mitigate against risks
to passengers and operators in the event of fire in the vehicle’s engine bay. The isolation device should have been removed when originally commissioned to allow the system to discharge the suppression agent. Operators must ensure that an appropriate level of diligence is applied to EBFSS installation and maintenance as well as the monitoring of the operational status of the system for safe vehicle operations.
Operators should make sure that:
- A vehicle equipped with EBFSS does not enter service unless the system is fully operational as evidenced by applicable commissioning and service documentation. Undertake a visual check of all vehicles as soon as possible to confirm
the EBFSS has been commissioned correctly and is in an operational state.
- Servicing and pressure testing is carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS5062 – 2016 and OEM guidelines.
- Staff and/or contractors are accredited, competent, and appointed to the level of service being conducted.
- All components and agents used in the commissioning and servicing of critical safety systems are in accordance with relevant standards, OEM specifications, and standards under which the systems are approved and installed.
- Records of the operational status, maintenance and competency requirements are retained.
For more detailed information, read Safety Advisory SA03/22 – Commissioning and servicing of bus and coach fire suppression systems. Other resources including reports on bus safety investigations are available on the OTSI website.
Following two years of pandemic imposed restrictions, from Sunday 13 November to Wednesday 16 November 2022 the bus and coach industry will get together in person at the Sofitel Brisbane Central, QLD for the Bus Industry Confederation’s (BIC) National Conference Moving People – Navigating Change. The Conference will provide national and international delegates with the opportunity to listen and engage with industry leaders, politicians and bureaucrats, to share ideas and collaborate on current and emerging industry challenges and opportunities.
This years Conference comprises fast-paced and compelling keynote presentations including special addresses from a number of key politicians from the Australian and Queensland Governments. Delegates
will be briefed on developments in Government net-zero initiatives, procurement and contracts.
The program will include operational sessions that explore the relationship between driver and passenger, covering safety assurance schemes, industry best practice and service delivery. Other highlights of the Conference will include subject matter expert presentations on funding, asset management and contracts for operators transitioning to zero-emission fleets.
Nominations are still open for the 2022 National Industry Awards, remember to please submit any nominations via our website (www.movepeople.com.au/2022) by Friday 14 October 2022.
If you would like to find out more about the 2022 BIC National Conference, conference accommodation or read about other BIC news and events, please visit our website – movingpeople.com.au. To benefit from discounted event registration fees Become a BIC member today.
Australasian Bus and Coach Expo 2022
Hosted by BusNSW, this year’s Australasian Bus and Coach Expo is being held Wednesday 5 to 6 October at the Sydney Showgrounds, NSW. Attendees will witness a world class 14,000 square metre exhibit with over $50 million worth of state-of-the-art buses, coaches, and zero emission technology. Over one hundred exhibitors will be present, showcasing products, services, and industry advances. Attendees are welcome to participate in free technical workshops and demonstrations, as well as social networking events with other like-minded industry professionals.
As accommodation in the Sydney
Olympic Park precinct is largely booked out, we urge attendees to consider and book their accommodation requirements. Alternative accommodation is available in Parramatta and Burwood, for more information please visit the Expo website.
Executive Director of Bus NSW, Matt Threlkeld reflects on the upcoming conference.
“We are pleased to have Transport for NSW supporting the event and exhibiting, along with a number of other government agencies. The NSW Government’s plan to transition over 8,000 buses to zero-emissions in the next 25 years provides a solid foundation for manufacturing and
a sustainable future. As we begin the move to zero-emission modes of transport, this expo provides a unique opportunity to see and evaluate battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses in the one location….In conjunction with the expo, BusNSW is pleased to be hosting a number of social functions to facilitate networking and the exchange of information and ideas…We look forward to meeting all of you…I hope you enjoy the 2022 Australasia Bus & Coach Expo”.
To stay up to date with all BIC events please visit our National and International Events Calendar on our website.
In this month’s issue of APTIA’s Everybody Out, National IR Manager reminds members invitations have been circulated to New South Wales members for the final IR breakfast of 2022 on Tuesday 4 October 2022. Hosted by BIC Chairperson, Tony Hopkins, BIC Executive Director, Roz Chivers and TWU Super, National Business Manager, Varenya Mohan-Ram, Ian reflects on a very successful Boardroom dinner in Canberra, comprising the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator, the Hon Don Farrell. Ian shares updates from the Industrial Working Group (IWG) and provides insights on the Job and Skills Summit, which is anticipated to form the basis of future workplace reform.
To view the full August edition of Everybody’s Out click here.
Operating in Australia, the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada, our newest member Evenergi offers zero emissions transport industry software and transition advisory services to bus and coach operators. Evernergi’s advisory services comprise planning, implementation, and the management of zero emission and energy infrastructure projects.
For more information about Evernergi please visit our website.
The Bus Driver Academy
Having been involved with the bus and coach industry for around 40 years in varying capacities including driving, training and management, the Bus Driver Academy (BDA) is a newly established business delivering training for drivers, general sector education and recruitment. Through years of experience working with large organisations, BDA recognised that smaller operators didn’t have access to the same driver training resources as larger ones. To address this DBA have built an online Learning Management System (LMS) with a dedicated bus driver course. The course is offered for induction, personal development, professional development or for re-training purposes.
The BDA offer their services
as an add on to Registered Training Organisations (RTO) offering licensing training. The LMS contains 10 training modules, covering Work Health and Safety (WHS), Chain of Responsibility (COR), Duty of Care, standard policy and procedures and customer service. BDA are offering to support BIC members and industry in partnering with organisations to provide discounted LMS access as part of sales packages. BDA can provide 3rd party driver training and assessment for companies, as well as build training and assessment frameworks for bus businesses. The BDA are offering BIC members and partners a 20% discount. For more information about BDA and their services please visit www.thebusdriveracademy.com.
The BIC are currently running two surveys to identify and gather industry recruitment and retention challenges and opportunities. Don’t forget to have your say, please access the surveys via the links below.