The Transport Workers’ Union is calling for the Queensland State Government to stop erring on the side of caution and legislate higher penalties for offenders who assault any bus or taxi driver.
TWU Assistant State Secretary Scott Connolly said that while at least the Government was now paying attention, it’s time to stop playing games with people’s lives.
“On average each month in Queensland 50 bus drivers are assaulted,” Mr Connolly said.
“The government knows this, yet continue to refuse to do anything about it.”
“This State Government will change legislation to suit their wants and needs, but they can’t pass legislation to protect drivers doing their jobs?”
The TWU support the government’s recent focus on taxi drivers and the introduction of audio recordings, but are calling for a greater focus on protecting bus drivers.
“Last week a Cairns women was jailed for nines months for spitting on police,” Mr Connolly said.
“Queensland bus drivers face that every day, let alone being attacked, robbed, stabbed and assaulted.”
“If harsher penalties were enforced, instead of a slap-on-the-wrist, these cowardly offenders will start to get the message and leave our drivers alone,” Mr Connolly said.
“No one should go to work not knowing if they are going to make it home safely at the end of the day.”
“But that’s now the reality of being a bus driver.”
“Why this government is waiting for someone to die to act is beyond me.”
The TWU will hold a public demonstration outside the State Parliament on Tuesday August 6 to seek answers.
Mick O’Brien – 0411 875 910