QBIC conference gears up


QBIC’s annual conference is shaping up to attract record crowds, with Queensland’s biggest bus display

QBIC conference gears up
QBIC conference gears up

By Sean Muir | February 28, 2012

Record crowds are expected at this year’s Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) conference, which is tipped to have an exhibition at least double the size of previous years’ events.

QBIC Executive Director David Tape hopes at least 250 to 300 delegates will attend the event, held April 2-4 at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach Queensland.

"It’s really shaping up to be the biggest yet and we are hungry for it," Tape says.

The annual conference, which attracts bus and coach operators, government, and industry suppliers, gives industry partners the chance to showcase their products every second year.

Tape says this year’s display will have double the buses shown at 2010’s conference.

"At the moment we are expecting 30 buses," he says.

"There has never been a bus display like this in Queensland. The response to bus and booth (registration) has been very significant. It actually blew me away to tell you the truth."

Tape says this year’s conference will be first held totally undercover.

Four halls will be used to house display buses and exhibiter booths.

"There’s been a change in our psyche regarding what type of conference we want to deliver," Tape says.

"In previous years we’ve held more of a resort style conference. With that, what you have available to display is very limited, depending on lawn area available."

Tape says, apart from the bumper bus display, the conference will also include high quality industry presentations.

"It’s a well packaged and balanced conference," he says.

"In this climate there are a lot of things happening and there is a lot of change in the industry. We’ve tried to target a range of things that are affecting our members now and into the future."

He says a key issue to be discussed at the conference will be the poaching of bus drivers by the mining and resource sector.

"At the moment we are losing a lot of drivers to the resource and mining sector because of what they can pay," Tape says.

"What we need to do is be smarter in our workplace so that when employees are approached by these companies, they choose a lifestyle rather than a bank balance.

"But that’s going to be an ongoing thing and there’s no magic fix. It’s something we need to continually chip away at."

Among a list of esteemed guests and speakers at the conference will be Transport Shadow Minister Scott Emerson and Department of Transport and Main Roads director general David Stewart.

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers associate Maria Capati will speak on the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, and Bacchus Management Systems’ Mark Woodhead will talk about Real Time Passenger Information Systems.

There will also be presentations on contract management and administration processes, occupational health and safety harmonization, and bus contract reform.

The conference will draw to a close with a panel session on Federalism.

"All the stuff in that program in one way or another has an impact on the bus sector," Tape says.

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