Contract certainty key

By: Amie Hickland

About 250 people attended a BusNSW conference which tackled the issue of contract certainty

Contract certainty was a key issue discussed at the latest BusNSW Member Conference held this month.

About 250 people attended the conference at Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley, on April 16 which incorporated the annual BusNSW Golf Day which was held April 15.

The Hunter Valley region about an hour from Newcastle, New South Wales, and is best known for its wineries.

On the forefront of discussion throughout the conference was the uncertainty around dealing with State Government over Rural and Regional Contract negotiations.

Board Member Brett Allen, of Allens Coaches, opened the traditional Welcome Party.

"It’s great to see such a big crowd," he says, explaining the conference may have reached "record numbers".

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish was the first speaker of the conference, presenting his Industry Report.

Much of the report revolved around changes to seatbelt legislation and the Rural and Regional Contracts.

"The tender of the next round of Rural and Regional contracts is a major issue identified by 400 operators," he says.

"We really want to look to the future, but I think we also need to learn from the past."

Transport for NSW Director General Dave Stewart was a key speaker at the conference.

He addressed some of the industry’s concerns about contract renewal.

"It’s really good to get out and talk to industry," he says.

"At the end of the day, we all have the same thing in mind… we need to get more people on public transport."

Other speakers included Roads and Maritime Services Director Safety & Compliance Peter Wells, APTIA National Industrial Relations Manager Ian MacDonald and BusNSW IR & Employment Manager Nathan Shuttleworth.

The conference ended with a Denim & Diamonds themed dinner, which most of the delegates enthusiastically participated in.

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