Steve Waugh to face BusVic conference

Cricketing legend Steve Waugh has been confirmed as a top order player at BusVic's 2013 Maintenance Conference

By Sean Muir | March 27, 2013

Cricketers will often say there is no point chasing the ‘wide ones’, which appears to be the logic used to decide the line up for this year’s BusVic conference.

BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe says this year’s BusVic Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo will feature cricketing legend Steve Waugh as the key note speaker and will cover the most crucial issues facing the Victorian bus industry.

With Waugh already confirmed to attend, Lowe has also had a shot at getting Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott to take part in federal political session at the conference.

"On the Tuesday afternoon we will be having a political session, where we have invited the Prime Minister – we are still waiting to hear if she can attend, or her nominee can attend – to have a bit of a face off with the leader of the Opposition, or his nominee," Lowe says.

In addition to a federal political session, there will
be a state political session, with Victorian Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder confirmed to face the State’s Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas.

Lowe says the management stream of this year’s conference is also pitched at the right line and length, and will focus on the State Government’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy (MPS), intended to be the state’s integrated land-use and transport strategy.

Lowe says sessions in the event’s management stream will highlight the role bus will play in the state’s planning and transport vision, due to be released at the end of this calendar year.

"This is a once in a generation opportunity to have a truly integrated plan," Lowe says.

"If the government get it right they should be well placed, but if there is nothing in it and they take all the sexy stuff out, then they run the risk of it being just another government pan sitting on the shelf gathering dust."

Included in the conference line up will also be an international best practise session, with representatives from the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, presenting on five topics:

  • issues facing the operating environment
  • service delivery models in metropolitan and regional communities
  • key drivers of public transport growth
  • current funding mechanisms employed in other parts of the world
  • policy considerations or ramifications.

Lowe says the session will give delegates insight into how other parts of the world deliver public transport.

The event’s technical stream will again feature a session on bus fires as well as other maintenance, servicing, and workshop issues.

"The amount of fires on buses is going up so as an industry we need to be looking at that," Lowe says.

New to this year’s conference will be an all-day Australian Public Transport Industrial Association (APTIA) seminar. The seminar will be the conference’s fourth stream.

"We have only ever done three streams before – management, technical and workshops – but now we have got management, technical, workshops and IR," Lowe says.

"So, this APTIA seminar is for all those die-hard IR bus nerds, to talk about IR all day."

Entertainment at the show will include performances by comedian Paul Martell, Darren Percival, Mahalia Barnes and The Wagons.

Lowe says there will also be a one-day package for school bus operators.

The conference will be held at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Race Course, July 1-2,

Last year’s event was attended by about 1500 delegates, and featured John Howard, Leigh Matthews, Kate Ceberano, Ian Moss, Vince Sorrenti, and Will Anderson.

Registrations are open.

Visit for more information.

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