Call for safety

The TWU is calling on the Queensland Government to install more security measures for drivers

The Queensland Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has joined with Cairns Councillor Richie Bates to raise public awareness of the issues facing public transport users and the need to protect the safety of all the community.

TWU State Secretary Peter Biagini is lobbying to raise awareness and continue to apply public pressure on the State Government for their lack of action.

 "The recent spate of attacks and robberies on Cairns buses is further proof that the Newman Government has to act and invest in our public transport," he says.

A recent survey of Cairns Sunbus Members shows 72 per cent have been subject to abuse and threatened with violence.

One of the recent incidents in Cairns includes a case where a bus driver was doing his clean-up check on a parked bus and somebody came onto the bus and grabbed the cash tin.

The driver then pursued the person and then tripped over and smashed his face resulting in stiches, according to the TWU spokesperson.

Cairns Councillor Richie Bates says it is the State Government’s responsibility to provide a safe and affordable public transport system.

"Safe bus drivers mean safe passengers," he says.

"Everyone in the community benefits from a safe, efficient and affordable public transport system and in Queensland that responsibility lies with the State Government."

Biagini says the TWU want the State Government to invest in duress alarms, security, training and to change legislation to make the penalties for those who assault a bus driver match those who assault a police office.

"Forty-one drivers assaulted every month is a very real problem and we cannot wait for someone to die to act," he says.

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