State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today debate a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament, calling on the Transport Minister to ensure bus drivers have the safest possible work environment, following the tragic death of Queensland bus driver, Manmeet Sharma, in November last year.
Drivers right across the Hunter have been calling for improved safety conditions for years but those calls have fallen on deaf ears.
In recent years, the number of assaults on drivers has increased dramatically, with drivers being verbally assaulted, spat on or physically attacked.
With the privatisation of public transport in the Hunter imminent, the Government needs to ensure that driver safety is given priority, as private bus fleets have been shown to have even less safety measures in place in their vehicles.
Bus drivers deserve the safest work environment possible, like any other worker in the State. The Minister must take steps to ensure that a horrific incident like the one in Queensland never happens here.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“A number of drivers have raised safety concerns with me following the attack last year.”
“Everyone deserves a safe working environment and bus drivers have been subjected to increasing levels of violence in recent years.”
“The Government is just about to privatise and sell off Newcastle Buses so they need to make sure that the fleet is as safe as possible.”
“Of course, Police will always respond as quickly as they can to any incident on public transport, but they shouldn’t have to. Police in the Hunter Region are understaffed and under-resourced.”
“Having to respond to incidents on public transport stretch these limited resources even further, when they could be avoided altogether by making our buses safer.”
“I call on the Minister to take steps to ensure that bus drivers in Wallsend, the wider Newcastle area and around NSW are as safe as possible.”