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BIC looks at risk, regulation and recruitment

The key element that binds bus and coach is people. Whether it’s assuring their daily safety and wellbeing or future-proofing a resilient workforce, the BIC is working together to continually reinforce the industry through the fastest succession of change it’s seen

Two of our key advocacy messages are national harmonisation and avoid duplication. They are often mutually compatible, but sometimes they aren’t if they result in the industry becoming less efficient and safe.

Over the past year or so, BIC and the state bus associations have engaged with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) on the Risk Based Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (RBHVIS) Standards and Assurance Framework. During the consultation, we jointly supported the existing periodic state-based heavy vehicle inspection schemes, highlighting alignment with the bus industry’s safety-focused and highly regulated operating environment.

The NHVR has subsequently advised that it will adopt existing state-based inspection requirements as the new standard applicable to buses under the RBHVIS. The inspection regimes will follow the requirements of the registration jurisdiction, such as the NSW Bus Operator Accreditation Scheme (BOAS).

Also in the pipeline…

Over the next 12 months, we’re working to reduce the need for the regulatory approval of roads before travelling (currently under the NHVR-controlled access bus notices). These affect certain roads that operators of controlled access vehicles (typically longer than 12.5 metres) can travel on. BIC is working with regulators on new, dynamic ways to assess these longer vehicles (existing and new) for suitability to travel on more/all roads.

In collaboration with Ausmasa and Industry Skills Australia, we’re working to ensure that industry needs are met as we transition to zero-emissions technology. The strategy includes worker upskilling (focusing on diesel mechanics, technicians and drivers), national alignment and recognition of qualifications and improving industry perceptions for recruitment (for example, school careers advisers). We’re also examining other roles critical to the successful functioning of a depot and operators.

Our recruitment and retention project is reaching its finality, after which an official launch and national industrial relations seminar will take place on July 4 at the Hotel Kurrajong in Canberra.

As always, we continue to advocate towards a positive zero-emissions reality for the industry via various initiatives, such as the application for funding to develop efficiencies in the successful electrification of bus depots across the country – as well as a positive change future for all.

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