The annual Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) conference has kicked off with a bang in Adelaide, with yesterday’s proceedings including multiple news reveals, national award winners being named and an intriguing look into a range of important topics.
The Adelaide Oval is playing host to the three-day event, with the opening day’s action starting with a welcome from BIC Chair Tony Hopkins.
Following ministerial openings, all eyes turned to the pressing challenges of the zero-emissions transition and bus and coach safety.
Assistant transport minister Carol Brown spoke in the early afternoon, revealing that the government is moving to refine the Australian Design Rule (ADR) process for buses and coaches.
“In early August I instructed the department to review the ADR process following consultations that resulted in implementations,” Brown told the crowd.
“I instructed them to progress on three recommendations immediately: one, to shorten the implementation timeline on light vehicles from two years for new models to one year and from four years to two for existing models.
“I also moved to enforce a stricter closing date on ADR consultation and to create a stricter guideline and prioritisation process.”
When it comes to electric and hydrogen bus transitions, Brown says the government is following its shared $250 million commitment into electric bus manufacturing in Western Australia last year by producing a transport and infrastructure net zero roadmap and action plan for decarbonisation.
Brown says the roadmap draft should be released later this year, while movements following the bus safety ministerial roundtable this year will also begin to emerge in November.
Following Brown, a discussion on zero-emissions bus and fire safety began, with the likes of the Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI), Foton Mobility’s Ross Thompson and Mark Fryer from Volvo Bus Australia discussing the ways in which electric bus training, fire mitigation technology and other safety campaigns can keep the new technology trouble-free.
The opening day finished with NSW’s Bus Industry Taskforce chair John Lee giving a passionate speech on what the taskforce has done and what it intends to do, with more reports set to be released in the next month to begin changing certain issues in the state’s bus network.