eBulletin | March 2024 | Advocacy for change

The purpose of advocacy is to achieve change—and more specifically, change for the better. For an advocacy organisation like the Bus Industry Confederation, ours aims to protect the interests of bus and coach operators, manufacturers, suppliers and associated service provider businesses. This, in turn, will lead to better buses, better cities, and more connected communities.

It sounds easy but can, in fact, be challenging, frustrating and even, at times, confronting. Sometimes its like Groundhogs Day, where we have to say the same things over and over to the same people. Other times, to get traction, we say the same things differently in an attempt to get cut-through, or we form strategic alliances with like-minded organisations from the truck or other industries. 

We have had some great advocacy wins lately: The change to the implementation date for Australian Design Rule 99/00 – Lane Departure Warning (ADR 99) was one win following strong advocacy in collaboration with the Truck Industry Council. While we are still digesting the outcomes of the reforms to the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (which well provide more details ón in coming weeks), a hard-fought-and-won battle was to retain the current exemption for school buses. Had we not won this advocacy campaign, all school buses would need to be accessible, which would be a costly and impractical solution looking for a problem.

We now need to collaborate with the Australian and State and Territory Governments, along with disability peak bodies, to find a fit-for-purpose solution for moving school children with disabilities.  

Our advocacy relies on evidence to be effective. We love to hear from our members about issues, concerns and solutions, so please feel free to reach out to the team at any time or respond to our calls for input. 

Roz Chivers
Executive Director, BIC