Australia, Bus Industry News

QBIC and Queensland announce bus industry award winners

QBIC and Translink have presented their annual awards at QBIC executive director David Tape’s final QBIC conference in Cairns on Saturday night

In a packed Pullman International ballroom at the annual QBIC Conference, the Queensland state association announced the winners of its yearly bus industry awards.

At the gala dinner, outgoing QBIC executive director David Tape addressed the crowd one last time to present the seven industry awards.

To start proceedings, CDC Queensland’s Marie Ochelen won the prestigious Manmeet Sharma Perpetual Professional Driver Award for 2023 for her great driving record and professionalism.

Industry stalwart Barry Rothery took home the second award, beating out Dick White, Murrays Coaches and Peter Dwyer to be presented the Outstanding Contribution Award from Queensland shadow transport and main roads minister Steve Minnikin.

Bus and coach giant Volvo Bus Australia capped off another superb year by taking out the Outstanding Employer Award ahead of CDC Queensland and Scania Australia, while Irizar Asia Pacific was crowned QBIC’s Supplier of the Year for 2023 for its high quality exhibitions and industry involvement.

Irizar was presented the award by NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto.

There was a deep field of finalists for the Environment and Innovation Award, with Bus Stop Sales and Service winning ahead of Murrays Coaches, Scania Australia and Volvo Bus Australia for its sustainable work.

Another special award winner was crowned, with BIC Chair and CDC CEO Anthony Hopkins presenting Hornibrook Bus Lines’s Brendan Casserly with the Aaron Pitt and Lleyton Bartlett Perpetual Apprentice of the Year Award.

For the final award on the program, SURA Australia Bus and Coach’s Tony Larocca presented Dale Tokely of Brisbane Bus Lines with the Achiever of the Year Award ahead of finalist Jay Haku from CDC Queensland.

QBIC then moved on to a special segment, rewarding five Queensland businesses with Long Service Awards for their ongoing achievements in the state’s bus industry.

On the night, Koala Coaches celebrated 60 years of service, while Bowen Transit and Tropic Wings were both recognised for 40 years of work.

Not in attendance were Hortons Bus Services (50 years) and Stormridge (30) who were both also recognised.

To cap off the busy night, Translink crowned its three Driver of the Year awards in the South-East Queensland Urban, Regional Urban and School sectors.

For South East Queensland Urban, Transdev’s Sue Bishop took out the prize, while Wide Bay Transit’s John Shackle won the Regional award and Deb Porter from Stonehenge Action Group in the small regional town of Stonehenge won the School Bus gong.

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