Moving Australia

View from Canberra 2021 March The BIC secretariat launches a new 'View from Canberra' which will be a monthly articles produced by various members of the BIC Team. This edition takes a look at current work program and in particular the formation of a new Advisory Group for the long distance tourist coach sector.

View from Canberra 2020 December BIC Chairman Wayne Patch reflects on the year that was in 2020.

View from Canberra 2020 November With the release by the Australian Government of its national policy ('3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia’), this months colum takes a look at what the government defines as 'COVID Normal' and 'COVID Safe' and how this translates for our coach tourism sector. The advice from the Executive Director of BIC is that coach operators need to crank up the engine now and start talking to the state tourism agencies and local governments to grow a new and unique service in Australian tourism. 

View from Canberra 2020 October This month, we take a look at the 2020 budget from the federal government and what it means for bus business. There is significant funding for infrastructure and manufacturing in this budget and although the budget is definitely a green-light for business to get busy, it is extremely clear that the economic recovery of Australia and the success of this budget is based on a number of assumptions - unfettered national and international borders, a covid-vaccine being available for mass distribution by December 2021 and any substantial interim covid-outbreaks likely to effect confidence of households to spend and businesses to invest and employ people. 

View from Canberra 2020 September With the announcement by ACT Labor government to commit to a fully electric bus fleet in the ACT by 2040, Michael Apps, BIC Executive Director, thought it was time to provide a review of transitional approaches from traditional diesel to electric. It is evident that governments around Australia - with their commitment to zero-emissions by 2050, will see increased focus on facets of the public transport network. The trajectory to zero emissions is an interesting one for buses, as any new propulsion technology will be effected by a number of operational and environmental conditions.

View from Canberra 2020 August Over the past few months the Industry has proven its resilience, its capacity to bare the burden, its ability to be flexible and provide clever and sensible solutions. The ‘federation’ of our own bus associations – the Bus Australia Network – is a fine example of what can happen when we all pull together, share our knowledge-base and resources to find the solutions.

View from Canberra 2020 July The BIC has been very busy over the past few months working with government, the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) and consulting to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and providing impact reports and key recommendations in relation to the impacts of Covid-19 and the bus and coach sector. This was recently ramped up with a national media campaign with a call to action from governments on a rescue package with 3 top priorities.

View from Canberra 2020 June Once things get back to ‘normal’, public transport will continue to be a vital part of the renewal and revitalisation of our cities and regions. Buses – the workhorse of the PT network will continue to be heavily relied upon as a transport and mobility option.

View from Canberra 2020 May The flattening of the curve is evident and relaxed restrictions are on the horizon. The BIC is working with various agencies to prepare the industry to meet the upcoming challenges to reduce the economic impact of Covid-19 and help build the bridge to recovery.

View from Canberra 2020 April With Covid-19 affecting us all, it is paramount that bus services be recognised as an essential service to minimise the impact of social and economic dislocation.

View from Canberra - Special Edition - What Industry is doing for COVID-19

This special edition covers the current COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, the government's economic support package and links to actions and recommendations to the Industry to continue business as usual.

The documents below are included in this special edition of the View from Canberra:

Industry Media Release which includes some simple things you can implement in your day to day business to help mitigate the spread of this virus and economic announcements from the Morrison Government yesterday to support business and keep people employed that the BIC has been advocating for. 

BIC Health and Wellbeing Guide published in 2015 which may provide some useful tools to assist you in formulating your risk management plan.

Fact Sheet from the Australian Government on how you can check your eligibility for government assistance and how you might access immediate cashflow assistance.

UITP Guidelines for public transport operators

View from Canberra 2020 March An update on the latest partnership project between the BIC and Roads Australia on the importance of investing in bus related passenger transport infrastructure.  Brisbane and Adelaide are stellar examples of efficiency in BRT.  By using these fine examples, bus passenger transport infrastructure should be a prime consideration by Ministers and senior executives in transport and infrastructure agencies as a viable, cost effective and efficient option.

View from Canberra 2020 February A discussion on the Light Rail vs BRT and their place in the general population commute.  The issue this month - Are government agencies using the public dollar in the most economic way and is BRT infrastructure fully considered?  Evidence, reports and assessments aside, we are still in a situation where all infrastructure and modal options are not being entirely measured.

View from Canberra 2020 January

The federal government has a vital leadership and strategic policy role in public transport to ensure our cities and regions of the future are economic, liveable and sustainable.  This month’s View discusses the modern transit and its abilities to compete with other modes of transportation and the necessity for
on-demand information technology on services

View from Canberra 2019 December The December edition of the View from Canberra elaborates on last month’s edition. We discuss some of the core actions that the federal government could undertake to provide incentives to state and territory and local governments to help provide great public transport service and options for our ever-expanding cities and regions. Public transport in our cities and regions is predicted to become more important as our cities and regions grow.
View from Canberra 2019 November

In this month’s View from Canberra we discuss why the federal government has a strategic and active role to play in public transport for our cities and regions of the future. Future population growth projections will place enormous pressure on our cities and growing regions.

We also talk about a few key messages that the BIC has been taking to federal government.

View from Canberra 2019 October

In this edition of the View from Canberra we discuss the details of the upcoming BIC conference.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Catherine King, Albo’s new transport and infrastructure spokesperson, Janet Rice, the Greens transport spokesperson, Scott Buchholz, the Federal Minister for Road Safety and Chris Steel, the ACT Minister for Transport and City Services will all provide keynote addresses and outline their policy and plans for our industry.

The conference program will look at how you can grow your business and be a part of the future growth of public transport and the role of bus. And the partners program this year will be like no other we’ve run before, it will be very unique.
View from Canberra 2019 September

This month we talk about school transport. With so much concern around climate change, it surprises me that only about a quarter of kids catch the bus to school. The majority it seems are transported in cars every morning and afternoon mainly in our cities where most people live, and traffic congestion and environmental concern are largest. Yet it seems governments in all states and territories do not see school bus travel as part of the solution to these major national challenges for cities and growing regions.

View from Canberra 2019 August

In this edition we discuss the BIC National Conference and the 2019 Infrastructure Australia Audit Report that was publicly released on 13 August. The report paints a dire prediction about our future if Australia does not get serious about investing in infrastructure and getting public transport right.

The upcoming conference theme, Moving People - a National Priority is to make sure governments are listening and acting and emphasise the role of all governments to get moving and work with Industry to meet the public transport challenges ahead and recognise the role of the bus as the biggest mover of people every day in the public transport system no matter where you live.

View from Canberra 2019 July There is currently a Review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) being undertaken by the National Transport Commission (NTC). The BIC and Bus Australia Network (BAN) are currently participating in this and have formed a Working Group to develop Industry responses to each discussion paper. There will be 8 discussion papers over the next few months. The BIC has submitted its response to the Risk Based Regulation discussion paper which is available on the BIC website.
View from Canberra 2019 June This month’s View discusses the recent election. The 46th Federal Parliament has been established after an interesting federal election campaign. The ministry and shadow ministry have been announced and generally it is all pretty good for the bus and coach industry.
The Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Australian Greens and the Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter have all been invited to speak at the Conference in November.
View from Canberra 2019 May This month we talk about the upcoming BIC conference being held in Canberra in November and discuss some of the conference program. This year significant parts of the program that will be relevant to rostering and scheduling. We will be inviting a number of dignitaries including the people-elect Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the party-elect Leader of the Opposition.
We also talk about some of the things that were discussed at the last BIC Council meeting including why the BIC Council agreed that minor amendments to the BIC Constitution were necessary. As well as the national work program 2019-2022. 
View from Canberra - Special Election Commentary 2019 The Federal budget was and is the Federal Election central theme. With the election just a few weeks away, this special edition of the View from Canberra discusses just that. By the time the BIC National Conference rolls around, the 46th Parliament of Australia will have formed and the voter-elected PM will be invited to join us at the conference. 
View from Canberra 2019 April

In this edition we are again talking about our federal election primer. The May 18 election is coming up fast and it will be here before we know it. We need our voice, your voice, as an industry to be heard across the political spectrum so we have provided some ideas about what you can do as an operator or supplier.

We call on everyone to get on board with this campaign because ultimately the pollie you talk to today could very well be the one who in fact wins.

View from Canberra 2019 March Once upon a time it was believed that everyone would be driving their own cars in the future. It was soon obvious that there was a need for buses to transport people without cars and the governments become involved. Today, state and territory governments subsidise passenger fares and invest in the public transport network. The policy focus of every Australian government today is about how to encourage the use of alternatives for the car. The BIC National Conference will ask the hard questions about future bus business and the opportunities that are ready to be taken, so mark your diary to attend the Conference - November 17-20. 
View from Canberra 2019 February

This month we talk about the growing need for better public transport services in our cities and regions and with a federal election looming, we discuss a very straight forward 6 point Action plan that we’ve pulled together for the consideration of all of the political parties and candidates.

This federal election provides the opportunity for the next government of Australia to deliver a future “intergovernmental agreement” on moving people. This is why we call on the federal government to adopt our Fair Go Guarantee. 

View from Canberra 2019 January

In this edition of the View from Canberra we discuss the upcoming federal election. Whoever wins government in the next federal election, public transport and how we move people in our cities and regions will be on the policy and program agendas of the government.

The fact that Public Transport is on the political agenda at a federal level is a major achievement that operators and suppliers should be rightly proud to have achieved. 
View from Canberra 2018 November

This months View attempts to provide a definition of the carnival of politics. After the recent (most say, unexpected) land-slide result in the Victorian election, Michael Apps Executive Director of the BIC, is ready to tell a story of when the circus came to town and simply never left. It is a worthwhile read to get the political view from capital hill in Canberra.

View from Canberra 2018 October

In this edition we discuss some of the highlights of the very memorable 2018 Australasia Bus Conference that was held in sunny North Queensland. The attendance numbers of delegates, partners and children was absolutely remarkable. Between the great plenary focusing on future mobility, amazing speakers which included Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Tourism, Anthony Albanese and some of the best social events ever held, the all-round feedback from the conference was extremely positive.

We’ve announced that the 2019 Conference will be held in Canberra. Because we have a Federal election next year, there is no better time than now to hold a conference in our nation's capital. We have already started planning a great program and social events.

The Industry Census Survey has been extended as we need more responses to make it a worthwhile exercise. So if you haven’t completed the survey, simply jump online to participate in a once in a generation survey. 
View from Canberra 2018 September

In this month’s View we discuss how the Bus Australia Network is undertaking a national industry census and is asking all bus operators, big and small to participate so that we have a good snapshot of our industry.

All of the details from this survey are critical to explain to Government the important role we play, the value and contribution we make to the economy and our role as a part of the fabric of all Australian communities. The information will be the foundation of Industry advocacy efforts over the next decade. A comprehensive bus and coach industry census is well overdue with the last of its kind done way back in 2003. We are urging all bus and coach operators to participate.

View from Canberra 2018 August With the Australasia Bus Conference just around the corner we explain why the theme for 2018 is Moving People-Century 21. All the worries of the turnover to the year 2000 doesn’t seem all that long ago, but there has been a dramatic change over the last 18 years and today we are right in the middle of the biggest revolution in transport globally. With things changing so rapidly, everyone in the Industry could really benefit from attending the Australasia Bus Conference. The program is full of great speakers and content and as usual the networking and social events provide just as much learning value. 
View from Canberra 2018 July In this edition of the View from Canberra we discuss the changes happening all around us in regards to transport and mobility. Due to a range of megatrends things are changing very rapidly! This is why the BIC conference program is so focused once again on the “nearby” future because change is only just around the corner and your business will depend on being ready to adapt and be part of the delivery of a much wider range of mobility services. So get organised and join us in Cairns October 7-10. 
View from Canberra 2018 June In this month's View we discuss the National Industry Summits and the National Industry Dinner that were held in Canberra on June 27. We talk about the topics that were covered during the Summits as well as questions/topics that arose from the various presentations. The entire day was a huge success and was topped off by the Industry Dinner whereby the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Anthony Albanese Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Transport, Regional Development, Cities and Tourism and Senator Janet Rice the Greens spokesperson for Transport, all spoke. With over 200 in attendance, it was a truly great evening.
View from Canberra 2018 May (2) In this edition we discuss the importance of presence and participation. The whole concept of "presence", of being there, part of the discussion, is a solely human characteristic that cannot be replaced by technology, or anything other than participating in person.  

Presence is the sole of our community, the soul of your business and that is why BIC runs events like the Summits and BIC Conference. These events are about your presence and participation, about the opportunity available to you to contribute and be part of something bigger, to learn and grow yourself and your business.  

View from Canberra 2018 May (1) This month we are calling on bus operators to consider not buying the products of freeloaders'. For the purposes of this article, 'freeloaders' are defined as suppliers operating in the bus industry who reap the benefit of the industry work undertaken by BIC and by State Associations, without contributing to the success of the industry by way of membership support. The BIC also acknowledges that many suppliers have been long time supporters of the BIC, and believe it is time for operators to pay respect to this when making purchasing decisions for their business.
View from Canberra 2018 April In this edition we discuss the Inaugural Australasia Bus Conference being held in Cairns October 7-10.
This joint BIC and BCANZ Conference is all about leading the discussion with Industry, governments and the public. The conference is a part of ensuring the bus and coach industry is taking a leadership role as an industry as a whole and a leadership role as individual businesses - operator and supplier, to work with governments and thought leaders to understand our role in future mobility. An insight into the current program is also given in this edition.
View from Canberra 2018 March

The BIC has always voiced its strong belief that the federal government has a very important leadership and strategic role to play in the growth of our cities and regions, and we are now seeing all major political parties in Canberra are really paying attention. The most recent report coming out of Infrastructure Australia (IA) reflects very much the research and policy paper series that BIC has been presenting to all levels of government for more than a decade. This IA Report sends a dire warning about the thought bubble that personalised autonomous modules for transport is going to address the challenges of population growth and congestion — as we look to the current debate about Mobility as a Service(Maas), future mobility and new technology. The joint BIC and BCANZ Conference from Oct 7-10 in Cairns is themed "Moving People Century 21"  which will be about leading this discussion with Industry and staying ahead of the game.

View from Canberra 2018 February

With an election looming, BIC will be strongly focused on the development of important policy papers focused on regional development and connecting villages, towns, regions and cities and the economic value of getting passenger transport right and the future mobility task and the role of the Federal Government.

Registrations will be open soon for the Australian School Bus Summit and Coach Connections Summit and Industry Dinner - June 27.

In this edition we also discuss the 3rd 5 year review of disability standards for accessible public transport and Motor Scooter regulation.

View from Canberra 2018 January

In this month's View we discuss what we believe will be some of the biggest challenges the industry may face in 2018. Buses over 2.5m wide seems to be a big topic of discussion at the moment. The key issue is the level of road access that is going to be provided by State authorities for over width buses. Our read is that general access is highly unlikely (not going to happen) and some kind of controlled access on acceptable road networks might be considered. 

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