Elections spring surprise

QBIC’s recent Townsville conference wrapped up with the election of a new committee with some familiar faces, and a new comer in the 2-I-C’s seat

Elections spring surprise
Elections spring surprise

By David Goeldner | April 29, 2010

QBIC’s election of office bearers for the next 12 months capped off a successful annual conference in Townsville this month, attracting more than 200 delegates and a raft of industry leaders.

There was little surprise when Clark’s Logan City General Manager Graham Davis was re-elected unanimously for the final year of a maximum three year term, but with a new deputy from the express coach sector.

QBIC Executive Director David Tape paid tribute to Davis’ dedication over the past two years, reflecting on achievements, notably the brokering of a better interest rate and ten year bus swap deal for school bus operators.

"The original interest rate wasn’t acceptable to the industry," says Tape.

"Graham Davis and Richard Hayes were able to achieve an interest rate that gives operators a fair chance when they negotiate finance for a new bus."

Tape says Davis was also the main instigator and driver of QBIC’s ten point Action Plan, launched at the Townsville conference.

While Davis will see out his final year at QBIC’s helm, the surprise AGM election result was the stepping down of QBIC vice-president Richard Hayes just hours after receiving the year’s outstanding contribution to industry award.

"Richard has been a tireless fighter for the bus and coach industry in Queensland in all aspects," Tape says.

"His commitment to the school sector over the last few years has been outstanding."

Tape says Hayes will focus on his schoolbus-based business in regional Queensland.

"All our executive positions are voluntary and not paid, so office bearers do take a lot of time out of their own business to support other members of our industry."

Replacing Hayes as QBIC Vice President is Greyhound Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Hopkins who Tape says will bring a greater presence from the long distance sector to QBIC’s executive and its membership base.

Hopkins is also the current chair of the tour, charter and long distance committee.

Tape says Hopkins will likely bring a different perspective to QBIC’s executive committee.

"Sometimes long distance operators are the forgotten sector of our industry," says Tape.

"They seem to do their stuff in the background, continuing to carry people up and down the eastern seaboard and across Australia on express services.

"With Tony stepping up and taking on the role of Vice President that will help increase the long distance profile and make a statement that ‘here we are’."

The treasurer’s position was also decided at Townsville, seeing Mt Gravatt Coach and Travel’s Skye Naismith resuming this role.

"Skye’s back in the chair as treasurer."

Management committee positions were decided prior to the conference.

New into the management committee is Bus Queensland’s Vernon Alcantra who will chair the school services committee.

Tape says he has no regrets pressing on with holding QBIC’s annual conference and AGM in Townsville, despite the ‘summer of natural disasters’ in that part of Queensland.

"Given what’s happened in Queensland over the last few months it was pleasing to see so many people come to the conference

"And it was fantastic that Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk took time out to meet with us on the Tuesday morning."

Other highlights included QBIC’s Townsville Turf Club raceday just prior to the conference, which featured the Bus Coach and Sales Australia Plate, and the Queensland Bus Industry Council Handicap.

* Pictured from left is QBIC Executive Director David Tape, Queensland Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, and returned QBIC President Graham Davis

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