Buses aid fire effort

By: Chris Smith


Bus operators across Victoria have played an integral role in the battle against Victoria’s deadly bushfires. BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe

Bus operators across Victoria have played an integral role in the battle against Victoria’s deadly bushfires.

BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe has commended the efforts of association members during Victoria’s record heatwave and the worst bushfires in the state’s history.

"Victorian bus operators have been called on to deliver over and above the norm of late, transporting displaced metro or rural train passengers due to the heat and providing safe passage for CFA crews during these horrendous bush fires," Lowe says.

"Our members have responded with the utmost sense of urgency and professionalism in the most desperate of circumstances. This says a lot about the character and camaraderie of the Victorian bus industry and confirms that buses can provide demand-responsive and cost-effective solutions to all sorts of situations."

Dyson Group is among the many companies transporting fire-fighters to and from the affected areas throughout Victoria.

Wodonga Depot Manager Brett Drinnan says Dysons has also been on stand-by to evacuate people from hospitals and nursing homes if needed.

Fire damage to a section of rail south of Seymour has resulted in Dysons continuing their Albury-Seymour V/Line coach service through to Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

Drinnan adds many Dysons drivers live in fire-affected areas, and those who are volunteer Country Fire Authority (CFA) members have taken leave to fight the fires. Other staff members, including

Drinnan and the Wodonga Operations Manager Bernie Linnett, are driving school buses to ensure continued provision of services.

The fires are impacting on hundreds of bus runs. Three schools have been destroyed, and over 60 schools have been temporarily closed. Many school camps have been cancelled.

Drinnan says passengers appreciate drivers tuning the bus radios into ABC Radio’s excellent coverage of the fires.

Donations to fire victims can be made through The Salvation Army on 137 258 or the Red Cross on 1800 811 700.

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