2019 State Conference

The Bus SA 2019 State Conference was held this year at the Adelaide Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 May 2019, with the theme “Moving People Integration: What does SA need?”

Election or no election, the Bus SA Conference went ahead on an unseasonally warm autumn day – perhaps this was a portent to the unusual scenes that played out on the national stage later on.

Getting underway with morning tea (what an innovation!) meant that the over 50 delegates appeared to be awake and ready for engaging presentations. Starting with Kristine Peters, an Adjunct Researcher, Consultant, resident of the mid-north, and therefore member of the tree-change brigade, Kristine highlighted the changes and challenges ahead for the mobility sector, and encouraged operators to think more laterally about how they adapt their businesses to meet this challenge.

She also highlighted the weakness in the NDIS and aged care policies currently in place.  In short there will be needs caused by age and disability and there will be opportunities for industry.

Matt Wilson provided an excellent presentation on Managing Uncertainty, explaining how a business can use certain tools to navigate a path forward despite the risks in the operating environment. 

Some of those risks were highlighted by Peter Dwyer of Piper Alderman, standing in for Ian MacDonald, covering off some of the challenges in industrial relations, whilst Brett Staker brought the room uptodate on Chain of Responsibility with a presentation filled with practical advice.

After lunch policy was the order of the day, and, in the absence of Minister Knoll who was hard at work ensuring the Liberal success at the Federal Election, Tony Braxton-Smith, CEO of DPTI, explained the agency’s newly found focus on the customer.  This all sounds excellent, but the proof will be in the pudding as they say.

Can DPTI deliver?

Can DPTI find a sustainable model in the SA Budget?

Time will tell.

A positive note could be drawn from the CEO’s comment that the Minister is aware of the regional mobility challenge we as an industry are highlighting, and that it should become a priority once the Adelaide Metro changes have been made.

As ever Tom Koutsantonis entertained with his take on the opportunities that exist in the mobility space, even summoning up his childhood memories of catching the bus, and inviting industry to engage with the ALP to help them form a transport policy.  We will be in touch with Tom.

From there industry discussed how it is meeting the mobility challenge in practice, commencing with Sue Wibilin’s interesting presentation around how Keolis Downer is utilising technology and integrated models to enhance mass transit.  Chris Lowe from BusVic explained how Get There DRT is designed to be a good tool to meet the mobility needs within a community, and finally John Devney from GTA Consultants provided a very interesting overview of how different states deal with the regional mobility task in different ways, highlighting the lack of integration and consistency in the SA system.

The day rounded out with a look at the Moving People Pirie project, a brief overview of the Long Distance Tour and Charter policy of the Bus Industry Confederation, and David Tape of QBIC updating us on Queensland’s school bus index model and safety screen process.

Dinner proved to be a highlight of the day, with magician Tony Roberts’ sleight of hand tricks and humour providing a good mixture of wonder and laughter.  All in all an excellent end to a great day.

As ever we are enormously grateful to all our Partners for their investment in the South Australian Bus Industry – without them this Conference would not be possible.

All presentations are available in pdf version below.  Be sure to have a look at them at your pleasure.  We have also posted a summary of the day by Fabian Cotter of ABC Magazine: