In this Christmas edition of the BIC Bulletin, we showcase highlights from the 2022 BIC National Conference, recognise the fantastic contributors to the auction bus and congratulate the successful bidder and remind members the 2022 BIC National Conference survey is open. We say farewell to one of the long-standing members of the BIC team, announce the BIC Council election results and provide updates on the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers Meeting and the Heavy Vehicle National Law Review.
Farewell and Goodluck
From everyone here at the BIC we would like to give a special thanks to Madonna Woodhead. This week the Secretariat and Council of the BIC say farewell to Madonna who has been with the BIC team for over a decade.
Madonna has made a significant contribution to the BIC and the industry more broadly and has been a strong advocate for public transport and the bus and coach industry in Australia. She played a pivotal role in the delivery of our National Conferences, development of technical resources including advisories and submissions of major government reforms including most recently leading the industry response to the review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
The team will miss her commitment to the organisation and the
industry and the expertise she shared.
We wish Madonna all the best with her future endeavours.
Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) Council Elections
At the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) we appointed the new BIC Council for 2023.
Congratulations to Anthony (Tony) Hopkins for being reappointed Chair and Julian Gurney who has been
reappointed as Vice-Chair for a second year. We look forward to working with new and ongoing Councillors during what is shaping up to be a very eventful 2023.
We would like to say a huge thank you to our outgoing Councillors, Grant Simmonds, James lowe, Dennis Sutton and Steve Heanes who was the BIC vice-chair for the 10 years prior to handing the reigns over to Julian in late 2021. All your hard work for the bus and coach industry has not gone unnoticed.
The 2023 Council members are:
- Operator Group: Tony Hopkins, Rolf Mitchell and Wayne Patch
- Chassis Suppliers Group: Mitch Peden and Julian Gurney
- Body Suppliers Group: Yuri Tessari and Desmond
- Associated Service Providers Group: Anthony O’Donnell and Tony La Rocca
- BusNSW: John King and Joe Oliveri
- QBIC: Michael Baulch and Adam Pulitano
- BusSA: Stephen Lucas
- BusWA Ben Doolan
- TasBus: Shane Dewsbery
The Council has a big year ahead of it, providing strategic advice on various government reforms impacting the industry and developing a new strategic plan to guide the activities of the BIC in the future.
Policy, Advocacy and Technical Updates
Outcomes of the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers Meeting
The 19th Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ITMM) was held in Canberra, Friday, 9 December 2022. Relevant topics included:
National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025
Ministers agreed to the
National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025, subject to any further
jurisdictional approval processes required. Ministers were briefed about the engagement process undertaken by the Australian Government with jurisdictions and stakeholders and noted that the Action Plan had been revised and strengthened since its presentation and subsequent discussion at ITMM on 11 February 2022. Ministers also agreed to the release of the Action Plan following final approvals.
Heavy vehicle road user charging
Ministers agreed in-principle to a three-year road user charging cycle, but tasked senior officials to undertake further work to establish the right balance between appropriate cost-recovery and
operators’ ability to cope with price increases in view of the current economic climate. Consultation would focus on an increase in a range between 6 and 10 per cent with a view to concluding these discussions before the end of February 2023.
Decarbonisation of infrastructure and transport
Ministers agreed jurisdictions would contribute to an inventory of activities being undertaken to
reduce transport emissions. Ministers agreed jurisdictions would suggest proposals for areas of
cross-jurisdictional cooperation to progress through ITMM, with the overall aim of Australian
Government, state and territory jurisdictions working together to decarbonise transport – with
active transport and opportunities for leadership in incentivising electric vehicles and public
transport as key priorities.
Ministers agreed to next meet in May 2023.
Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Review
The reform of the Heavy Vehicle National Law is set to progress at pace in 2023. The Infrastructure and Transport Ministers have tasked a small group of Australia’s most senior transport officials to guide the delivery of legislative and non-legislative reforms that were recommended by and independent consultant, Mr Ken Kanofski, following extensive consultation with the jurisdiction and industry bodies including the BIC.
The first Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the
primary law is due to Infrastructure and Transport Ministers in the Second Quarter of 2023. The intent is that the primary law will be simplified with a significant amount of the current legislation changed and moved to regulation.
Extensive consultation on the regulations and other non legislative reforms will occur during 2023 lead by Mr Kanofski.
The BIC has established a working group with operators and OEMs to assist the Secretariat grapple with the reform of this significant piece of legislation.
Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Review
The reform of the Heavy Vehicle National Law is set to be a big year for 2023. The first Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the primary law is due to Infrastructure and Transport Ministers in the Second Quarter of 2023. Accompanying the RIS is a significant amount of consultation on regulations. The BIC has established a working
group with operators and OEMs to assist the Secretariat grapple with the reform of this significant piece of legislation.
Ministers were briefed by Mr Ken Kanofski on his HVNL Industry Consultation report, and heard presentations on the report from the Australian Trucking Association, the National Road Transport Association, the Australian Logistics Council, the National Transport Commission and Australian Local Government Association. Ministers thanked industry representatives for their constructive engagement throughout the consultation process and committed to continue close consultation with industry as reforms progress.
Ministers agreed to release Mr Kanofski’s report, and to progress a package of propositions recommended by Mr Kanofski that will improve safety and productivity
in the heavy vehicle sector. Resolving to consider further advice from officials on the best mechanism to efficiently deliver this package of reforms across all jurisdictions.
Important Messages from Government
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Performance Based Standards 2.0 Consultation
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is seeking stakeholder feedback on the Performance Based Standards (PBS) 2.0 Discussion Paper. This discussion paper presents the NHVR’s evaluation of the PBS scheme and opportunities to ensure it continues to promote innovative, yet robust, approaches to heavy vehicle safety and productivity while reducing regulatory, administrative, and cost barriers.
The NHVR are consulting to ensure that the review of the PBS scheme results in a contemporary framework that supports the next generation of innovative vehicles delivering a more efficient and sustainable freight task.
The BIC Technical, Environment and Safety Committee considered the consultation paper at its meeting this week and the BIC Secretariat will be responding, with feedback due by 5pm Friday 17 February 2023.
The NVHR are holding a series of webinars from Monday 23 January to Thursday 16 February 2022. If you’re interested in attending, you can register at the links below.
If you’re unable to make these times, the webinars are recorded and can be viewed later.
You can provide input into the BIC submission by contacting the BIC Technical Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org by early February. Or you can also provide written feedback directly to the NHVR by emailing a submission to PBSreview@nhvr.gov.au no later than 5pm Friday 17 February 2023.
Following the consultation period, feedback/submissions on the discussion paper will be considered and assessed with next steps being advised in the second quarter of 2023. The BIC will keep you informed on this important initiative.
For more information visit the NHVR website here.
Bus Industry Confederation 2022 National Conference Wrap-up
The 2022 BIC National Conference – Moving People > Navigating Change, was held at the Sofitel Brisbane Central from 13 to 16 November 2022. We had an outstanding turnout with over 415 industry leaders in attendance. We would like to say a big thank you to our delegates, talented speakers, and sponsors for being a part of the 2022 BIC National Conference Moving People > Navigating Change.
The newly re-appointed BIC Chair, Anthony (Tony) Hopkins kicked off day one proceedings with a warm welcome. Yvette Mihelic from John Holland delved into why customer experience and employee experience culture is so important, and how to create it within an organisation. After all, happy employees result in happy customers.
Looking at our changing environment,
Terry Rawnsley discussed ‘the new normal’ with bus industry leaders. The Australian Bus Scene panel discussed industry insights, innovations, challenges, and opportunities which saw delegates identify commonalities. They also explored new and intuitive ideas. Discussions included transition to zero and workforce shortages.
Michael McQueen entertained and engaged with attendees talking on the future. His presentation was a
fascinating and thought-provoking session, with the hope delegates left having learnt something new. Councillor Ryan Murphy Chair of Public and Active Transport at Brisbane City Council provided updates to delegates on the exciting changes to public transport in the city, including the Brisbane Metro being delivered with Carrosserie HESS AG. We were delighted that delegates received an opportunity to join the pilot metro tours, what a highlight!
A great cross section of speakers brought real life experience to the table, Ségolène Deeley, Andy Meyer, Prof. John Nelson, and Andrew Amos discussed future transport, responding to customer needs and requirements with a focus on ‘on demand’ and ‘MaaS’ solutions. Andy Myer from TransLink provided more examples of how to reduce cars on the roads and talked about the Queensland Government’s experience with ‘on demand’ transport.
It was fantastic to have Andrew Bata, head of UITP North America, talk about the reality of public transport post Covid lockdowns. His presentation provided lots of food for thought regarding how we attract people back to public transport, the role of zero emission transport and getting more people onto public transport.
We would like to once again like to thank Minister for Transport and Main Roads, The Hon. Mark Bailey MP for presenting this year’s BIC National Industry Awards.
A massive congratulations to the 2022 BIC National Industry Award winners:
- Jessica Kane of Kanes Buses for the Achiever Award
- Transdev NSW for the Safety Award
- Kevin Fielding of Hino Bus for the Supplier Award
- Busways for the Environment and Innovation Award
- Trevor O’Brien of Scania Bus for the Outstanding Contribution Award.
This was all made possible by our wonderful sponsors, SURA and NHVR.
It was a pleasure having Neil Scales, Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland for joining us on day two of the Conference. Delegates experienced a wonderful presentation from guest speaker Steven Bradbury at the Scania Big Breakfast, where Steven explored the topics of teamwork and persistence, enabling delegates with valuable insights.
A photo gallery of the event will be available on our website soon, along with the 2023 Events Program. We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s BIC National Conference in Rotorua.
We have two upcoming events we’d like to share with members.
From 21 to 22 March 2023, the Bus Industry Summit will be held at the National Ballroom, Hotel Realm, Canberra ACT. The 2023 BIC National Conference will be held 16 to 19 October at the Energy Events Centre, Queens Drive, Government Gardens, Rotorua, New Zealand.
Keep an eye on our website events calendar and our LinkedIn for more information.
2022 BIC National Conference Survey
We would like to remind readers that our 2022 BIC National Conference survey is live!
Your feedback is important to us and contributes to delivering this great event, with high quality presentations, current and leading topics, fitting venues, and enhanced overall attendee experiences.
The survey closes 22 December 2022. To complete the survey please scan the QR code below or click
For more information about the BIC National Conference, please visit our website.
BIC Recruitment and Retention Survey
The BIC Council and the APTIA Industrial Working Group (IWG) endorsed a recruitment and retention project aimed at developing policies, guidelines, and best practice artefacts to support industry and improve recruitment and retention. We recently facilitated a comprehensive survey of the bus and coach industry to identify recruitment and retention industry challenges, causes and opportunities. State Associations have also embarked upon projects to identify recruitment and retention challenges in the industry.
The survey was distributed to members on 1 July 2022. There was a total of 84
responses received from bus and coach operators nationally. Additionally, we received a total of 17 responses from BIC supplier members nationally.
Below are some quotations from respondents:
- “A nationally recognised license/authority would be useful. The timeframe one must hold the license before they can obtain an authority results in it being difficult to attract younger candidates.”
- “If there is an opportunity to have a bus driver role on the skills shortages list from an immigration point of view that may help bring through overseas migrants that have previously driven buses in overseas
countries. We would also need to change local licensing laws, but this could help to balance out local recruitment with overseas.”
- “The industry provides secure and ongoing employment opportunities for those who are prepared to follow policies and process. The most important issues to staff is family, health, and financial security. The industry should look for ways to incorporate real value benefits to drivers through partnership with providers of such things as financial benefits (i.e., access to health care, school fees, mortgages etc) that makes the industry a desirable employment target.”
- “Showing the important role drivers have to connect and support the community. I feel people take for granted that buses will always be there to take
them where they want to go, and I think they pay little heed to the effort and work it takes a driver or that business to deliver the service and the pride that go with it.”
The full survey results can be found on the APTIA website.
A key focus of November’s edition of APTIA’s Everybody’s Out, is the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better pay) Act 2022. Below we have recapped some important variations.
On December 2, 2022, Parliament passed the Secure Jobs and Better Pay Bill 2022. The Bill is set to become an operative law in a matter of days, with some aspects having deferred start dates.
Several changes have been made to the proposed laws, following an Inquiry undertaken by the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee and following consultation with cross bench politicians and the Greens.
- changes to the pre-requisites (common purpose test) required for an application for multi-employer bargaining to succeed (as part of the single interest authorisation stream)
- an introduction of greater union control over when single interest authorisation multi-enterprise agreements can be put to a vote, with union permission or a Fair Work Commission (FWC) order now required for a
vote to proceed.
- confirmation and codification that once employers are caught in a single-interest authorisation multi-employer bargaining process, they can no longer proceed to make single enterprise agreements directly with their employees.
- the introduction of a new nine-month grace period after an enterprise agreement (EA) expires, during which the FWC can exercise its discretion to not accede to applications to rope an employer into multi-employer bargaining or multi-employer agreements.
- a limitation on bargaining disputes proceeding to arbitration until at least nine months after a previous EA has reached its nominal expiry date or nine months after bargaining commenced.
- a watering-down of the changes to rules pertaining to the taking of industrial action; and
- the exemption of the building and construction industry from all multi-employer bargaining.
This represents the first tranche of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) IR Reform agenda.
Operation of the new laws have staggered commencement dates, allowing for transition periods. The below will come into immediate effect:
- Small claims procedure changes
- Regulation of
pay secrecy clauses in new or varied employment contracts
- Rules pertaining to job advertisements with improper pay rates
- The limitations on termination of EAs
- Sunsetting of ‘zombie agreements’
- Changes to the Registered Organisations Commission and ABCC
- Changes increasing the ability to initiate bargaining
- Changes to the ability to seek equal remuneration orders.
Three Months after royal assent (March 2023), the below will come into effect:
- Sexual harassment orders and opening of claims process for sexual harassment to FWC
- Introduction of new expert panels for gender-equity and community and care sector (unless proclaimed earlier)
Six months after royal assent (June 2023), the below will come into effect:
- New flexible work arrangement provisions
On a date to be proclaimed by the Minister or six months after royal assent at latest (June 2023),
the below will come into effect:
- New bargaining dispute procedures, including arbitration
- Changes to industrial action
- EA approval process changes
- Single interest employer authorisation stream commences
- Supported bargaining stream commences
- BOOT changes
12 months after royal assent (December 2023), the below will come into effect:
- Limitations on fixed term contracts
- Flexible work arbitration
- Employer penalties for pay secrecy clauses
To find out more about the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better pay) Act 2022 and view the full November edition of Everybody’s Out visit the APTIA website.
We would like to remind members that the BIC office will be closed from Friday 23 December 2022 through till Tuesday 3 January 2023.
Emails and phones will be unattended during this period, and we will respond to all queries on our return.
The BIC would like to wish all our members a very merry Christmas and a safe holiday break.
We look forward to engaging with you all in 2023!