Farrell outlines bus industry needs at Summit

The trade and tourism minister spoke about the federal government’s bus and coach focuses at the national BIC Summit

Farrell outlines bus industry needs at Summit
Minister Farrell says the government is focused on increasing the bus and coach tourism industry

Federal trade and tourism minister Don Farrell has issued his most pressing requirements regarding the bus industry while speaking on the first morning of the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) Summit in Canberra this week.

The senator says his new portfolio in tourism and trade means he wants to build confidence in the security of jobs when it comes to the bus and coach industry.

To encourage people back into the bus and coach industry while bolstering the tourism sector, Farrell told the room full of bus manufacturers and operators that accessibility is critical.

"Bus transport operators and manufacturers must accommodate disability needs in the way they design and use their vehicles," Farrell says.

Other needs Farrell also spoke about include a climate change focus in the industry that partners a proposal for fee-free TAFE courses to help bolster the skilled worker stocks in the bus and tourism industries.

When looking at the current skilled worker shortages seen in Australia, Farrell points to a neighbouring country’s model as the way forward.

"When you compare the way Australia and New Zealand handled the COVID-19 pandemic, the former federal government made international workers leave the country," Farrell says.

"New Zealand didn’t make them leave and have no labour shortages now."

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Farrell also announced a $10 million funding boost towards marketing in the tourism industry to begin encouraging international workers and travellers back to Australia and onto bus and coaches.

With new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese having an extensive background on a transport minister portfolio, Farrell says the industry can expect more initiatives and movements happening with the bus and coach sector.

"We’ve never had a Prime Minister with as much knowledge in transport and infrastructure as Anthony Albanese has," Farrell says.

"His knowledge and familiarity with the industry will prove invaluable for the bus and coach sector going forward."

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