Safety first for SA

By: Amie Hickland

Safety standards and accreditation were some of the hot topics at the recent BusSA conference

Safety first for SA
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan

Safety standards and accreditation were some of the hot topics discussed by the South Australian bus industry, at the BusSA 2016 State Conference last weekend.

The conference was held on May 28 at Crowne Plaza Adelaide with a theme of "Moving people: unlocking SA’s mobility potential," and about 80 delegates attended the main event.

Delegates were also encouraged to attend two new events associated with the conference:  the Land Tourism Forum and the Gold Partners Wine Tour.

The forum was an event which aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities for tour and charter operators within the tourism sector.

BusSA executive director Lauran Huefner welcomed delegates to the conference, particularly executive directors Darryl Mellish (BusNSW), Chris Lowe (BusVic), Geoff Lewis (TasBus) and Michael Apps (BIC) who were part of a panel discussion on the happenings in industry.

"What an interesting year this has been, with a wholesale change to the way in which mobility in cities and regions is viewed from the political perspective," says Huefner.

He touched on some of the issues facing the state at the moment, particularly around safety and accreditation.

"We also strongly believe that government should endorse minimum bus safety standards by introducing an industry driven and administered, government regulated and monitored, bus safety program – including the capacity to undertake bus inspections through the private sector," he says.

"I draw the comparison between our industry and the airline industry in which airline operators must meet stringent safety processes to be able to carry the travelling public."

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan was one of the keynote speakers at the event.

Mullighan says latest statistics show about 80 per cent of all public transport trips in the state are taken by bus.

"The bus industry is the industry that does the heavy lifting of our public transport task here in South Australia," he says.

"I really do appreciate how important the bus industry is to all South Australia."

The conference ended with a dinner event, which included guest speaker Stephen Schoenberg, of Pitcher Partners, and entertainer Mr Spin.  

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