BusNSW has a new pres­i­dent in the form of long-term op­er­a­tor and in­dus­try stal­wart John King, as Frank D’Apuzzo fin­ishes his term as pres­i­dent

NSW’s peak bus in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tion will be driven by new lead­er­ship in 2017

ABC (Australia) - - CONTENTS - WORDS RAN­DALL JOHNSTON

BusNSW has a new pres­i­dent in the form of long-term op­er­a­tor and in­dus­try stal­wart John King. Frank D’Apuzzo nished his term as pres­i­dent and re­mains on the board, and John King from Nowra Coaches and Premier Illawarra has been elected.

King says he is hon­oured and look­ing for­ward to work­ing on be­half of all mem­bers.

“I am look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge. It’s a great in­dus­try; we have been through our tri­als and tribu­la­tions,” he says.

“I started as a bus washer and I can tell you there is no pre­ten­tious­ness in the bus in­dus­try, we all just get on with the job.

“Col­lec­tively we move hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple ev­ery day with a min­i­mum of fuss.”

BusNSW ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Darryl Mel­lish wel­comes the ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence that King brings to this role and says his pas­sion, drive and com­mit­ment to qual­ity bus and coach ser­vices is im­pres­sive.

“John is a man of ac­tion, a strong pro­po­nent for in­dus­try en­gage­ment, re­duc­ing red tape and im­prov­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences,” he says.

“He em­braces new tech­nol­ogy and is al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove ser­vices.

“His or­gan­i­sa­tion runs ser­vices in three states, cov­er­ing long dis­tance, tourist and char­ter ser­vices, as well as con­tracted route and school ser­vices.

“John is both an in­no­va­tor and hands-on op­er­a­tor that makes sure he spends time at the coal face.

“Build­ing de­pots and talk­ing to cus­tomers as part of his en­er­getic man­age­ment style, he is com­mit­ted to the in­dus­try and his em­ploy­ees.

“He is also very com­fort­able deal­ing with gov­ern­ment agen­cies, sup­pli­ers and large and small op­er­a­tors.”

Mean­while, out­go­ing pres­i­dent Frank D’Apuzzo took the op­por­tu­nity to thank ev­ery­one he has worked with dur­ing his time as pres­i­dent and out­line some ma­jor achieve­ments.

“The board and ex­ec­u­tive team have, in my opin­ion, man­aged to not only ride out a num­ber of storms, but to get on the front foot and set up a sound plat­form for the fu­ture, with of­ten dif­fi­cult con­straints im­posed,” he says.

“Cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions and new tech­nol­ogy have changed the way we need to op­er­ate, adapt and value our busi­nesses.

We have been through our tri­als and tribu­la­tions

“The changes in gov­ern­ment poli­cies and reg­u­la­tion have been signicant – in­clud­ing com­pe­ti­tion and ser­vice pro­cure­ment poli­cies – and changes af­fect­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion and safety such as seat belts, bus res and bus pro­cure­ment pan­els.

“The gov­ern­ments [ both sides] want op­er­a­tors to do more for less, and are tak­ing on greater con­trol of ser­vice plan­ning, and this is re­sult­ing in in­dus­try con­sol­i­da­tion.”

D’Apuzzo sees Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian’s ap­point­ment as Premier as a good thing for the in­dus­try, say­ing she knows and un­der­stands the im­por­tant ser­vices that the bus in­dus­try pro­vides. He is also up­beat about the re­ten­tion of An­drew Con­stance as Min­is­ter for Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture.

“TfNSW and RMS struc­tures are still chang­ing and, if any­thing, we are see­ing in­creased shift to more in­dus­try en­gage­ment, which is in­evitable be­cause, de­spite  nan­cial pres­sures, work­ing with in­dus­try pro­vides bet­ter re­sults re­gard­less of how the ser­vices are pro­cured.

“It’s been an hon­our to serve as your pres­i­dent and I look for­ward to sup­port­ing John as the new pres­i­dent.”

FIT FOR A KING

King’s ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try dates back to 1971 when he started wash­ing buses at a NSW bus com­pany and he has been in the in­dus­try ever since.

In 1987 he pur­chased Nowra Coaches on the south coast of NSW. Since then, King has ex­panded his busi­ness and ar­eas of op­er­a­tion, and cre­ated a strong man­age­ment team and op­er­a­tion con­trol cen­tre. The Premier Group op­er­ates town shut­tle ser­vices in Wol­lon­gong, Shoal­haven and Kiama.

Premier also op­er­ates longdis­tance and char­ter op­er­a­tions along the east coast. It op­er­ates more than 600 ve­hi­cles within the group and there are ve op­er­at­ing en­ti­ties in the Premier Group, with a com­pre­hen­sive on­line bus track­ing sys­tem for many ser­vices.

John King is well known within the in­dus­try and to its stake­hold­ers given his ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vid­ing route and school ser­vices in ur­ban and coun­try en­vi­ron­ments.

He also op­er­ates an ex­ten­sive range of long-dis­tance, ex­press and char­ter ser­vices. King has been a board mem­ber since Fe­bru­ary 2009.

• The BusNSW board of man­age­ment also in­cludes Brett Allen of Al­lens Coaches, Pe­ter Fer­ris of Buslines Group, Joe Cal­abro of Bus­about, Garry Bax­ter of Bax­ter’s Bus Lines, and SK Cheng of CDC NSW.

Left: Long-term op­er­a­tor and in­dus­try stal­wart John King is the new BusNSW pres­i­dent

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