New president for BusNSW
Bus NSW has a new president, in the form of long-term operator and industry stalwart John King
Frank D’Apuzzo finished his term as president and remains on the board, and John King from Nowra Coaches and Premier Illawarra has been elected as the new president.
The recent BusNSW AGM also included the election of its office bearers. Paul Harmon from Inverell Bus Service was elected Vice President (country) and Steve Scott from Punchbowl Bus Company was elected Vice President (metro).
King says he is honoured and very much looking forward to working on behalf of all members.
"I am looking forward to the challenge. It’s a great industry; we have been through our trials and tribulations.
"I started as a bus washer and I can tell you there is no pretentiousness in the bus industry, we all just get on with the job.
"Collectively we move hundreds of thousands of people every day with a minimum of fuss."
BusNSW executive director Darryl Mellish welcomes the extensive experience that King brings to this role and says his passion, drive and commitment to quality bus and coach services is impressive.
"John is a man of action, a strong proponent for industry engagement, reducing red tape and improving customer experiences," he says.
"He embraces new technology and is always looking for opportunities to improve services.
"His organisation runs services in three states, covering long distance, tourist and charter services, as well as contracted route and school services.
"John is both an innovator and hands on operator that makes sure he spends time at the coal face; building depots and talking to customers as part of his energetic management style he is committed to the industry and his employees. He is also very comfortable dealing with government agencies, suppliers and large and small operators."
Meanwhile, outgoing president Frank D’Apuzzo took the opportunity to thank everyone he has worked with during his time as president and to outline some major achievements.
"The board and executive team have in my opinion managed to not only ride out a number of storms but to get on the front foot and set up a sound platform for the future, with often difficult constraints imposed," he says.
"Customer expectations and new technology have changed the way we need to operate, adapt and value our businesses.
"The changes in government policies and regulation have been significant, including competition and service procurement policies, and changes affecting accreditation and safety such as seat belts, bus fires and bus procurement panels.
"The governments (both sides) want operators to do more for less, and are taking on greater control of service planning, and this is resulting in industry consolidation."
He sees Gladys Berejiklian’s appointment as Premier as a good thing for the industry, saying she knows and understands the important services that the bus industry provides. He is also upbeat about the retention of Andrew Constance as Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.
"TfNSW and RMS structures are still changing, and if anything, we are seeing increased shift to more industry engagement, which is inevitable because - despite financial pressures -working with industry provides better results regardless of how the services are procured.
"It’s been an honour to serve as your president and I look forward to supporting John as the new president."
About new BusNSW president John King
John’s experience in the industry goes back to 1971 when he started washing buses at a local bus company and he has been in the industry since that time.
In 1987 he purchased Nowra Coaches on the South Coast of NSW. Since then John has expanded his business and areas of operation and created a strong management team and operation control centre. The Premier Group operates town shuttle services in Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Kiama.
Premier also operates long distance and charter operations along the east coast. The Premier group operates over 600 vehicles within the group and there are five operating entities in the Premier Group, with a comprehensive online bus tracking system for many services.
John King is well known within the industry and to its stake holders, John has extensive experience providing route and school services in urban and country environments. He also operates an extensive range of long distance, express and charter services. John has been a board member since February 2009.
• The BusNSW Board of Management also includes Brett Allen of Allens Coaches Coolamo, Peter Ferris of Buslines Group, Joe Calabro of Busabout, Garry Baxter of Baxter’s Bus Lines and SK Cheng of CDC NSW.