Minns Labor Government has established the Bus Industry Taskforce, delivering on a key election commitment
The Minns Labor Government has today established the Bus Industry Taskforce.
The Taskforce delivers on a key election commitment made by Minns Labor to the people of NSW.
The Taskforce will play a key role in dealing with the consequences of bus privatisation and will drive improvements to bus services.
In recent years, the quality of bus services has not met community expectations, with service cancellations and driver shortages getting worse and worse.
It is clear that the existing arrangements and services need to change and the Taskforce will play a central role in delivering improvements to bus services across the state.
The Taskforce will be chaired by John Lee, a former CEO of State Transit Authority and multiple private bus companies.
Mr Lee has the expertise and industry knowledge to drive accountability and improvements to existing bus services, and to deliver the changes needed to create a long-term sustainable industry and better services for passengers.
Mr Lee will be supported by industry experts and work force representatives, including:
- Matt Threlkeld, Executive Director of BusNSW
- Joanna Quilty, CEO of NSW Council of Social Service
- Darriea Turley, President of Local Government NSW
- David Babineau, Rail Tram and Bus Union
- Mick Pieri, Transport Workers Union.
The Taskforce’s focus areas will include:
- service delivery and asset management models, including the contract and performance management framework, transparency and accountability
- service planning, including equity of services across the community and reviewing routes and service planning on a region-by-region basis
- infrastructure and technology that supports the effective delivery of bus services, including the transition to clean energy
- arrangements relating to the employment of drivers, mechanics, and other key personnel
- other steps to improve performance including legislative amendments, regulatory changes, contractual or other related actions.
Given the considerable issues facing the bus industry, the existing contracts and service delivery, the Taskforce has a 12-month period to undertake its investigations.
The Taskforce will provide a series of updates and reports to be taken forward for consideration by Cabinet. It will deliver a number of reports throughout this 12-month period, including initial findings on 10 July 2023, an interim report on 10 October 2023 with a final report and recommendations by 1 May 2024.
The terms of reference for the Taskforce can be found at Transport for NSW.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Jo Haylen:
“Minns Labor promised the people of NSW that we would deal with the consequences of the former Liberal government’s failed bus privatisation agenda. This is the first step to delivering better bus services for passengers right across NSW.
“Passengers have had enough of service cancellations and routes being cut. They expect better bus services, and we need to do better.
“This means better contract and performance management, better service planning that looks at the routes that passengers and communities want, and a better industry that is able to attract more drivers.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Marjorie O’Neill:
“My community has felt the impact of the former Liberal government’s failed bus privatisation model. We saw our routes cut, our stops vanish, and our services get cancelled. The old model doesn’t work and it’s time to make our bus services better.
"I look forward to working with the Taskforce and engaging with passengers and local communities across NSW to come up with the solutions that will deliver better bus services and bring drivers back to the bus industry in NSW.”
Quotes attributable to John Lee, Chair of the Bus Industry Taskforce:
“It’s a privilege to Chair this important body and to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the bus industry, the workforce and with community representatives to deliver better bus services.
“Our bus network is wide ranging, complicated and is relied upon by some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It is where passengers with access to no other mode of transport go to. Our work to make bus services better will make a real difference to people’s lives."