Former Broken Hill City Council Mayor, Darriea Turley will represent Local Government on a new state-appointed transport taskforce.
The NSW Government last week established the bus industry taskforce, designed to play a key role in assessing the current service to improve efficiency.
The taskforce will bring together bus operators, industry experts, the workforce, and community representatives and will be chaired by John Lee, a former CEO of the State Transit Authority.
The initial focus will include performance issues experienced by passengers such as scheduling, service cancellations and complaints management. It will make recommendations to the Minister on options to improve contracts and how services are planned.
Communities will be consulted on changes to routes, supporting technology and infrastructure, the transition to clean energy, employment arrangements and any necessary legislative or regulatory changes.
In formulating its advice to the Minister, the Taskforce will also consider the Report into the Privatisation of Bus Services.
“The former government had changed contract positions for the bus industry and they’ve discovered that the network has become very weak. They want to relook at the bus structure and have put together a taskforce to address that,” Mrs Turley said.
“Over the last 12 months, I’ve been talking to mayors across the state and one of the issues they raise about their bus networks is the lack of planning, the lack of bus drivers – they’re concerned about the passenger experience.”
Mrs Turley said while Broken Hill had been lucky with its well-thought-out bus routes, there are concerns in other areas of regional NSW.
She said other communities faced issues of not having reliability, or a service at all.
“Hearing issues from local people gives you the solutions for a way forward. I know that the new State Government has considered that, which is the reason why local government has a seat at the table on this taskforce,” she said.
The group has been given 12-months to undertake its investigations and will deliver a number of reports in this time, including initial findings on July 10, an interim report on October 10, and the final report and recommendations by May 1, 2024.