More engagement needed

BusNSW has called for more engagement from its transport chiefs as NSW seeks a new D-G

More engagement needed
More engagement needed

By David Goeldner | July 14, 2013

With an executive search underway to fill the NSW Transport Director-General’s vacancy, BusNSW is looking for an improved approach to industry partnerships at Transport for NSW.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish believes retiring Director-General Les Wielinga, who leaves the post in September, had tried his best to remain accessible to industry since the O’Farrell Government came to power in NSW in 2011.

Wielinga was in charge of transport prior to the elections, and stayed in charge during the political transition from Labour to Liberal governments.

"In the pre-election period there were considerable concerns the way transport and Infrastructure were managed in NSW," says Mellish.

"There was a lot of speculation at the time that there would be a change of Director-General after the election.

"However, Les was able to convince the incoming government that he was not the cause of the inconsistencies and ‘policy on the run’ issues before the election, and was committed to better policy."

Mellish says Wielinga had remained a strong proponent of improving the customer experience, improving traffic management and strengthening government contracts.

"With the 2011 changes to the transport departments he became less accessible to the bus industry despite his attempts to avoid this," says Mellish.

"There has been an improved attitude to industry partnership from NSW Roads and Maritime Services over the last 12 months and we are hopeful this will eventually be picked up by Transport for NSW."

Mellish says that, on a personal level, Wielinga had always been upfront and direct, calling a ‘spade a spade’ and had been a great advocate for growing public transport.

Wielinga’s career spanned 41 years and included managing transport issues, strategic planning, development and delivery of infrastructure and administration.

His roles included Director-General of Transport for NSW and Chief Executive of the Roads and Traffic Authority.

Peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) also acknowledged Wielinga’s contribution.

TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison says Wielinga is a true champion of the transport industry.

"The great strides NSW has made in the planning and delivery of public transport and roads has happened under the guidance and leadership of Les Wielinga," says Morrison.

"We thank him for his openness and honesty in dealing with the private sector and for his service to the state."

Wielinga retires on September 24.

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