By Celeste Skinner. Edited for online by Joseph Cooney.
Public transport safety has been called into question after another attack where a teen was allegedly sexually assaulted on a Gold Coast bus in broad daylight.
This follows a recent trend of attacks on buses across Queensland that has drivers and passengers concerned for their safety.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson recently released figures in Queensland Parliament that stated bus attacks have decreased in the past five years.
The figures, compiled by Translink, show assaults on the Gold Coast have decreased by 80 per cent.
Emerson has ‘got his facts wrong’
But Transport Workers Union spokesman Peter Biagini says Mr Emerson’s figures do not stack up.
“He’s really got his facts wrong,” Mr Biagini said.
“We believe there’s been 1,000 assaults since the Minister has taken power, and there have been some improvements on that, but not enough.
“Are they going to do more if he hasn’t got his figures right?”
Mr Biagini wants stricter measures in place to ensure passenger and driver safety.
“We’ve got to have a deterrent,” he said.
“We’ve been calling on the State Government to put in place stronger penalties, and that would be a deterrent because our state is too big for any authority to be able to cover and protect.”
He says although video surveillance has improved, security cameras are not enough.
“It’s extremely important that there’s a distress button put in every bus, so when there’s an assault … straight away we get attendance by the police,” he said.
Buses under surveillance, company says
But Stewart and Sons Coaches spokeswoman Julie Stewart believes buses are safe for passengers.
“They’re under surveillance – that’s probably the best that we can do for them,” Ms Stewart said.
“They’ve already got a button that alerts the driver when they need to stop, maybe [there could be] another button they could press if they’re being assaulted.
“That’s the only other measure that I think would be able to be implemented.”
But she does say conditions are more dangerous in metropolitan areas.
“I believe in the more populated areas, like our cities, the drivers certainly need something to protect them [such as] a barrier between the public and themselves,” Ms Steward said.
Despite the report, Translink says there are plans for increased safety measures to be implemented in the future.