Gold Coast Bus Safety Speech | August 2016

Posted On: 8 Sep 2016

Our bright yellow Surfside buses are a familiar fixture on the Gold Coast, providing transport for hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists every year. Surfside provides a great service, but lately these buses have been the target of misbehaving youths and unruly passengers, who seem to get some sick pleasure from damaging property and placing the lives of others in serious danger.

In just two weeks during the last school holidays Surfside buses reported almost 20 separate incidents involving young people damaging buses with rocks and other projectiles in Tugun, Currumbin, Varsity Lakes, Burleigh and other suburbs. One incident involved rock throwing from an overpass onto a bus travelling at 100 kilometres an hour on the Pacific Motorway. Thankfully no-one was hurt, but it could have been fatal. General manager Martin Hall says that rock throwing is highly concerning and costly. An individual broken window can cost up to $1,000—sometimes double that. In just two weeks it cost almost $40,000 to fix broken windows, doors and windscreens.

It is not just rock throwing that is on the increase, with a number of vicious attacks on bus drivers and passengers on Gold Coast buses, too. Recently a 16-year-old was arrested following a sickening attack on a 71-year-old man travelling from Tweed Heads to Southport. Video footage showed the man being punched up to 10 times in the head after asking passengers to stop smoking.

The Palaszczuk government has sat on its hands while the issues of fare evasion and attacks have spiralled out of control. Between April 2015 and April 2016, the fare-evade button was pushed almost 500,000 times, costing government and bus companies over $25 million and putting the current number of our bus services at risk. Queensland lags behind other states when it comes to managing fare evasion. Why has the government not embarked on a dedicated awareness campaign before now?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Order! There are a number of members standing in aisles and the level of conversation is getting quite high. I can hardly hear the member for Currumbin. Could members please keep their conversation to a minimum.

Mrs STUCKEY: I asked the Minister for Transport what measures are being implemented to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. The minister acknowledged that it is a serious matter but offered no comfort to affected persons that he had any plans to increase security, just that he held bus safety forums.
This is the same minister responsible for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in less than two years time on the Gold Coast. Public perception of safety is paramount. We need people to keep using our buses or we will lose some routes and, importantly, our reputation. The Palaszczuk government needs to step up and provide better resources and put the lives of innocent bus drivers and passengers first, before the situation gets out of hand.

Clearly, more senior network officers need to be based on the Gold Coast. It is not good enough to have these SNOs working only four days a week rather than seven when our police are flat out trying to catch offenders. Authorised officers should be involved also. In Currumbin we need our youth engagement officer returned to us to work with the growing number of youth misdemeanours like these.


Welcome from Jann

As the State Member for Currumbin since 2004 we have achieved much together to make the place we call home an even better and safer community.

It truly is an honour to serve the caring and connected residents of Currumbin.

Your thoughts and concerns matter to me and I look forward to continuing to be a strong voice on your behalf.

My electorate office staff and I are here to help you with state government issues.

Kind regards


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