Stuckey slams Government on bus safety

1 Sep 2016 4:38 PMJann Stuckey

Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey has criticised the Palaszczuk Government for sitting on its hands and doing nothing as bus safety issues escalate on the Gold Coast.

In the last three months alone Surfside buses has reported a spike in assaults of passengers and drivers as well as almost 20 incidents of throwing rocks and other projectiles, damaging buses and putting lives in danger.

Ms Stuckey says the lack of action from the Government on these incidents is placing lives at risk and also jeopardising the future of Gold Coast public transport services.

During Parliament Ms Stuckey asked Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe what extra measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of passengers, but the Minister was unable to offer any new plans to increase security.

Ms Stuckey says “I am calling on the Government to stop ignoring this problem and appoint additional Senior Network Officers to the Gold Coast with an increased presence from four days a week to seven.

“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’s not good enough to have these SNO’s only working 4 days a week rather than 7 when police are flat out trying to catch offenders.

“The Palaszczuk Government has sat on its hands while the issue of fare evasion and attacks have spiralled out of control too.

“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 hasn’t the Government embarked on a dedicated awareness campaign?

“The Commonwealth Games are now less than two years away. Public perception of safety is paramount and we need people to keep using our buses or we will lose some routes and our reputation.

“This ‘frozen at the wheel’ Labor Government must put a stop to these dangerous behaviours and strengthen safety measures.”