- Cyber security month – a tale of woe
- Cyber security – yes you need it!
- Department for Education – Tender update
- BusSAfe update
- New guidelines for low and zero emission vehicle charging – Austroads
- From the BIC
- From the Tax Office
- Government announces cleaner bus emissions standards
Cyber security month – a tale of woe
A funny thing happened on the way to this long overdue Member Alert…
Over the past few months, the Bus SA website was hit by multiple denial of service attacks, it’s been hacked, then hacked again! When building it I’d only used apps that came via the WordPress store, we had a security system in place, and everything was done properly. But still they got in.
This is not a ‘telco level’ hacking story with a terrible ending. And I assure you that nothing was ‘stolen’ – I had shut down the Member-based section of the site some time beforehand. But the site has had a rough couple of months – it’s been corrupted and up and down like a yoyo.
Which explains why you have not had a Member Alert in a while, with my apologies. With our IT providers we have now implemented two things to ensure website protection:
- Removed all last remnants of the software that required external password input.
- Set up a two factor authentification system so that nobody can even get past the password wall into the website without the correct codes.
I’m sharing this to urge you to take a good hard look at your systems and how secure they are. The main learning is that any data system (bookings, accounting, web, your servers, even your laptop) with the tiniest chink of weakness leaves you open to being breached.
It’s Cyber Security Month! Please read the following article about learning and implementing cyber security.
Executive Officer, Bus SA
Cyber security – yes you need it!
With large-scale data breaches and cyber-attacks making national news in recent weeks, it is clear that all businesses – no matter their size – must invest in cyber security to keep their business and customers safe.
What is cybersecurity?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre defines cyber security as a business putting measures in place to protect ‘confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and devices, and the information residing on them’. Put simply, putting in place measures to protect a yourself from a digital attack.
What tools are available to get started?
There are plenty of tools and resources around to support you on your cyber security journey. A great place to start is with the Office of Family and Small Business, they have put together a handy page listing resources to help you understand the issues and put measures in place, such as:
- a toolkit for small business
- ‘have you been hacked’ online tool
- small business cyber security guide
We urge you to go to the nuts and bolts of cyber security.
Also, here’s another extremely useful page full of definitions to help demystify the cyber jargon.
Finally, the ATO also has a page of cyber security tips that may be useful to you.
Department for Education – Tender update
Some of you may have noticed that there is a tender out for a 10 Year Transport Project Plan.
The tender is designed to provide the Department for Education with a 10-year strategic plan for the yellow fleet. It is exploring future vehicle technology for reducing emissions, demographic changes for regional South Australia and seeking advice on the safe operation of the fleet. It is essentially their blueprint for the next decade.
It is our understanding that the successful tenderer will approach Bus SA for input as a key stakeholder.
Executive Director, Bus SA
BusSAfe was very busy in Term 3, and we have employed an administrative officer for 9 hours a week to book sessions, communicate with schools and maintain records. She commenced in mid-September and has picked up the work quickly. As already reported, getting schools on board is a hard slog and very time-consuming so it is a great help.
There are now 193 schools in scope for BusSAfe, 168 of which are primary schools. Activity breakdown to the end of Term 3 is as follows:
- 64 sessions
- 2,408 students
- 35 schools
- 21 future sessions confirmed
- 13 schools interested (date and time tbd)
Thanks and an acknowledgement to operators and drivers
We are getting incredible support from the operators who service the schools we visit. They understand the importance of the BusSAfe initiative and have been so generous with their resources and assistance. These organisations have helped us so far (usually on more than one occasion):
- Des’s Buses
- Link SA
- Lofty Coaches
- Mt Gambier Buslines
- Spencer Gulf Coaches
- Yorke Peninsula Coaches
- Willlunga Charter
- for Ed Yellow Buses
- A school’s own bus with driver volunteering their time
Operators send a bus, and a driver who assists when we take the kids outside to show them the emergency and safety features on the bus. And without fail, the drivers have elected to join us inside for the video and chat session with the students. They’ve offered great practical insights and answered some curly safety questions, such as:
- “What happens if the bus is hanging off a cliff, and the roof is blocked with rocks, and there’s a fire in the middle of the bus?”
- “If the brakes stop working and the bus drives into a really fast river, how long will it float? How far down the river will it go? What if there is a massive waterfall coming up?
- “What would we do if the floor was covered with snakes?”
Bus SA deeply appreciates operator and driver commitment to this important initiative. It’s helping operators to manage safety and behavioural issues and hopefully keeping kids safe.
You may be interested in some of feedback we have received from schools:
New guidelines for low and zero emission vehicle charging – Austroads
Although this is aimed at Government, thought I’d pass it on as keeping an eye on the Zero Emission space should be of interest to you – Andrea Overall (Exec Officer).
Austroads has published new Guidelines for Low and Zero Emission Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Installation.
The guidelines are the first of their kind in Australasia and are designed for use by local government and transport agency staff planning infrastructure to support the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.
“We are seeing a rapid increase in the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on our roads. If we can get ahead of the demand for readily available charging infrastructure, we can support a more seamless transition for users,” noted Vibeke Matthews, Austroads Future Vehicles and Technology Program Manager.
The guidelines detail lifecycle considerations such as site selection and planning, access, energy supply, design, operations, maintenance, decommissioning sites and the potential for further technological developments in the field. Use cases for both rural and urban contexts are provided.
With low and zero emission vehicle sales in Australia expected to increase from 0.6% per year to 23% in 2030, electrical vehicle charging infrastructure must continue to develop alongside such rapidly evolving technology.
“While the transition to low and zero emission vehicles is still in its infancy in Australia and New Zealand, the application of the guidelines will improve user experience, and encourage further use of these vehicles,” Vibeke said.
From the BIC – National Conference – November 13-16 in Brisbane
Letting you know, on the Tuesday at the conference, we will be presenting about BusSAfe – Andrea Overall (Exec Officer).
Following two years of pandemic-imposed restrictions, from Sunday 13 November to Wednesday 16 November 2022 the bus and coach industry will get together in person at the Sofitel Brisbane Central, QLD for the Bus Industry Confederation’s (BIC) National Conference Moving People – Navigating Change. The Conference will provide national and international delegates with the opportunity to listen and engage with industry leaders, politicians and bureaucrats, to share ideas and collaborate on current and emerging industry challenges and opportunities.
This year’s Conference comprises fast-paced and compelling keynote presentations including special addresses from a number of key politicians from the Australian and Queensland Governments. Delegates will be briefed on developments in Government net-zero initiatives, procurement and contracts.
The program will include operational sessions that explore the relationship between driver and passenger, covering safety assurance schemes, industry best practice and service delivery. Other highlights of the Conference will include subject matter expert presentations on funding, asset management and contracts for operators transitioning to zero-emission fleets.
Keep up to date with all things relating to the conference on the website at www.movingpeople.com.au/2022.
From the BIC – Proposed changes to National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework
The Infrastructure and Transport Ministers are proposing changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework. The Review into the framework has been undertaken by Austroads and aims to deliver a harmonised Australian licence training and assessment framework that produces safe and competent heavy vehicle drivers, as well as reflecting the current and future needs of heavy vehicle operators and the future freight task.
Four key areas of change are proposed:
- Managing individual driver risk ensuring eligibility only for drivers without serious driving offences.
- Strengthening skill and knowledge making competency requirements specific to each licence class, setting minimum course length, and recognising the extra skill needed to drive the most complex vehicles.
- Embedding behind-the-wheel experience requiring minimum behind-the-wheel time pre-licence and supervised driving sessions post-licence.
- Introducing experience-based progression options enabling those drivers who can demonstrate driving and work experience to progress to higher licence classes more rapidly.
There has been a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statemen (C-RIS) open for consultation (closes late October) and the BIC will be making a submission on behalf of the bus and coach industry. In the meantime, you can find more information on the Austroads website.
From the BIC – Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT)
The BIC provided a high-level overview at the BIC National Summit on the current reforms being undertaken by the Australian Government into the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Standards (Transport Standards). We recently submitted a response to public consultation on Stage 2 of these reforms to the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the Department).
Consultation on proposed updates to the Transport Standards commenced in February 2021, examining 70 reform elements over 2 stages. These 70 reforms will broadly impact the entire bus and coach industry. Stage 1 (16 reforms) has been completed with a Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) being published by the Department in February of this year. Public consultation on Stage 2 (54 reforms) commenced 15 March and closed on August 9, 2022.
Stage 2 reforms include proposals for new and updated regulations such as:
- The treatment of dedicated school buses and the removal of current exemptions
- New reporting framework to capture compliance data
- Information communication technology, such as the deployment of information in various formats (e.g., digital signage and web applications)
- Equivalent access and options for an independent review body
- The inclusion of rideshare services
- Accessibility on conveyances and at boarding points, and
- Implementation/compliance frameworks for all 70 reforms for Stages 1 and 2.
More information will continue to be provided as it becomes available. Bus SA will be inviting the BIC to speak to Members about this in detail next year.
From the Tax Office – Super changes
Whether you’re paying super weekly, monthly, or quarterly it’s important to check that the super guarantee (SG) you pay takes into account changes that started on 1 July 2022. These were:
- the increase in the SG rate from 10% to 10.5%
- the removal of the $450 per month eligibility threshold when paying SG.
You must have applied these changes to all the salary and wages you paid from 1 July 2022, even if some of the pay period they related to was before 1 July 2022.
All other eligibility requirements for super remain in place. For example, an employee aged under 18 years must still work for you more than 30 hours in a week to be eligible for super.
You need to make sure:
- your payroll and accounting systems are up to date and include the recent changes to SG
- you’ve calculated and paid the right amount of SG for all your eligible employees
- you pay SG amounts in full by the due date.
You’ll have to pay the SGC if your total SG amounts for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 September 2022 aren’t received by your employees’ super funds by 28 October 2022.
If you need help meeting your SG obligations, you can contact a registered tax professional for assistance.
What happens if you don’t pay the right amount of Super?
If you don’t meet your SG obligations, you’ll have to pay the SGC. You’ll need to lodge an SGC statement and pay the SGC to us. This will cost you more than paying the correct SG on time. SGC is not tax deductible. You may also have to pay additional penalties or charges.
Visit Super for Employers on the ATO website to find out more.
From the Tax Office – Fuel tax credit changes
The temporary reduction in fuel excise and excise equivalent customs duty rates ended on 28 September 2022. Please be aware of this change and apply the right rate when you claim fuel tax credits.
On 5 October, the ATO issued emails or letters to:
- tax professionals with clients who claim fuel tax credits for their business. This will include a list of their affected clients.
- businesses who prepare their own BAS and claim fuel tax credits.
From 29 September:
- increased fuel tax credit rates apply. Eligible businesses must apply the applicable fuel tax credit rate based on the date the fuel was acquired.
- eligible businesses that use fuel in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads can claimfuel tax credits for fuel acquired. They cannot claim between 30 March to 28 September 2022 because the road user charge exceeds the excise duty paid, reducing the fuel tax credit rate to nil
- the road user charge for liquid fuels will increase to 27.2 cents per litre. This means the fuel tax credit rate for liquid fuels used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads will change to 18.8 cents per litre.
Other changes to fuel tax credit rates occurred on 30 March, 1 July (biodiesel only) and 1 August.
For the latest fuel tax credit rates visit ato.gov.au/fueltaxcreditrates.
You should keep accurate records to support their claims. Records need to show the type, date, and quantity of fuel acquired for business activities. Find out more at ato.gov.au/ftc_records.
Government announces cleaner bus emissions standards
In a major change, Euro VI emissions will become standard within the next two years
The federal government will introduce tighter noxious emissions standards for new trucks and buses, saving lives while preventing toxic air pollution and providing significant environmental and economic benefits for communities.
The new standards, known as Euro VI, will be phased in over 12 months from November 1, 2024.
The federal government’s Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics estimates introducing Euro VI will save the Australian community $6.4 billion over 25 years from fewer premature deaths and chronic illnesses.
Euro VI standards are already in place in the European Union and United Kingdom, and equivalent standards also apply in most developed countries, including the United States and Japan. China and India.
Introducing Euro VI will mean manufacturers must add the advanced safety and fuel-saving technologies to Australian models that other countries already have. This will help improve safety outcomes and contribute to Australia’s emissions reduction targets.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and National Transport Commission (NTC) are working with state and territory governments to make changes to ensure operators purchasing cleaner and safer trucks maintain productivity when the new standards become mandatory.
Further improvements to fuel quality could help support introduction of tighter standards for light vehicles, known as Euro 6d. The government says it is considering how best to improve fuel quality and enable all new light vehicles sold in Australia to meet Euro 6d standards.
“These tighter noxious emissions standards for new trucks and buses will reduce this significant pollutant in Australia and help reduce the number of premature deaths and chronic illnesses as a result,” federal transport minister Catherine King says.
“These new standards will improve air quality and health outcomes and bring safer and more efficiency trucks into Australia. We are committed to continuing to work with industry and state and territory governments to ensure the smooth introduction of these standards.
“Australia has been lagging in our vehicle noxious emissions standards for years now, and this move will help bring our vehicle market into the 21st century – and into line with overseas vehicle markets.”