Bus drivers marched through Brisbane today angry at a growing number of assaults. More than 10,000 people backed them signing a petition calling for improved driver safety.
Alex Igoe reports.
Fed up union members marched towards Translink offices.
Blocking traffic, they want action now to save bus drivers from any more attacks.
Protestors: “Save our bus drivers, save our bus drivers.”
They came from as far as Cairns gathering at the Translink office entrance.
Tony Sheldon, National TWU Secretary: “We want better buses and We want safe buses and get on board.”
A statewide survey of Queensland bus drivers revealed that 97% of drivers have been assaulted, one fifth have been attacked at the wheel and 27% have been spat on.
Terry Russell was working on Christmas day last year when two young girls lashed out, angry the bus was going in the opposite direction.
Terry Russell, Bus Driver: “They went from singing Christmas carols to have a go at me with a knife.”
“It is a terrible experience you shouldn’t have to do.”
The Get On Board petition hopes to achieve a safer work environment.
Peter Biagini, TWU State secretary: “Enough’s enough, and we’re looking on Translink, who is the governing body of passenger transport in Queensland, to do something about it.”
Translink says assaults are on the decline …
Simon Cook, Translink: “What Translink wants is an environment where frontline staff can go to work without fear of assault or risk to themselves.”
But agree more needs to be done, especially in tourist hotspots.
Alex Igoe, QUT News.