Tim Swift to leave Action Buses

By: Jason Whittaker

After 26 years with Action Buses, Acting General Manager Tim Swift is moving on, leaving Canberra for the Sunshine State,

After 26 years with Action Buses, Acting General Manager Tim Swift is moving on, leaving Canberra for the Sunshine State, new opportunities and to spend time with his grandchildren.

Over the course of his career with Action, Swift says he’s occupied almost every operational role, working the wash bay, in management, and everything in-between.

"I started on the wash and on the bowser," he says. "In those days that’s how you started to become a bus driver. I applied to become a bus driver first up.

"I drove buses for eight years. Then I supervised for eight years, worked in scheduling, service planning – all that sort of stuff."

He was involved in the development of Canberra’s Sustainable Transport Plan, working with the community to set aside land for the transport corridors outlined in the plan.

In the last 12 months Swift has worked as the Acting General Manager of Action, a position he was asked to fill for six weeks.

His last day on the job will be Friday, December 4.

"There have been some changes but it’s a really fantastic place to work – always has been," says Swift.

"When I first started … there was a continuous bucket of money and the [Transport Workers] Union ran the business," he says. "Whatever they wanted, they got.

"It was a fantastic place to work I must say. Not much work got done but you were paid very well – and always have been."

Today the Union influence is "not quite as strong but still very strong".

"If you ask me my personal opinion, it’s too strong. The Union’s got a right to do business in the workplace, but I think they push the boundaries a little bit too far.

"They want to be the decision maker.

"They want to be involved in everything we do – the make up of our shifts, for example. You try and find efficiencies, but they say: ‘no, you’ll have this many day shifts, this many night shifts’."

Swift says he’s leaving Action for family reasons. He and his wife are moving to Brisbane to spend time with their grandkids and to settle into the city ahead of retirement in "eight or nine years".

"I’ve got two grandkids up in Brisbane – one’s eight weeks old and one’s eighteen months old," he says.

"We try and get up there as much as we can – every two or three months – but you let three months pass and they’ve grown up so quick.

"But I’ve still got another eight or nine years of work to do."

Action Buses Business Manager, Liz Clarke, will act in the role of General Manager for the next six months from Monday (December 7).

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