Fiery forum forecast

The hot topic of bus fires has flared to flash point, with heated debate primed for BusVic's annual conference

Fiery forum forecast
Fiery forum forecast

By Sean Muir | June 27, 2012

A flaring rate of bus fires in Australia has prompted the hot topic’s late inclusion as an information session at this year’s BusVic Maintenance Conference.

BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe says statistics have led BusVic to believe the occurrence of bus fires is rising significantly, prompting the topic's eleventh-hour addition to the conference program.

"It is a really important session because it is a growing problem," Lowe says.

"We were looking at the stats of how many fire events we are dealing with, and it's going up, and that was cause for concern - hence it was agreed there should be a comprehensive presentation on it."

Lowe says the statistics will be released during the bus fire conference session, which will also cover the causes of bus fires, how to manage them, and mitigation strategies for operators.

"The issue enjoys a lot of attention overseas, but it’s about time we started looking at it here in Australia," Lowe says.

"Because there are more and more of these instances occurring, so we all have to know how to manage them. The potential risk is very high."

ABC Magazine has reported on 12 bus fires in country Victoria and NSW in the past two years alone.

The latest involved an Albury school bus, which caught fire on the Hume Highway early this year.

About 40 year nine and year 10 students from Xavier High, Albury escaped the flames.

About 1500 delegates are already registered for the 2012 Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo held July 2- 3 at the Moonee Valley Racing Club, Moonee Ponds, Victoria.

The conference will cover management topics including industry recruitment, workforce retention and wellbeing, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, sharing of road space and road condition reporting, accreditation, and bus and coach accessibility standards.

The conference will also cover technical issues, such as reducing the road worthy certificate defect rate, the future of workshop and vehicle technology, and preventative maintenance.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook