Beau­ti­ful Ho­bart’s icy win­ter chill could not pen­e­trate the warmth and heat – or is that heart? – of the awe­some event that was the Tas­Bus 2018 Con­fer­ence. ABC mag­a­zine was hon­oured to at­tend.


What the Ap­ple Isle lacks in com­par­a­tive state size it makes up for thou­sand­fold by the big, char­i­ta­ble hearts of the lo­cal bus fra­ter­nity. And boy, do they put on a grand show! Fabian Cot­ter re­ports.

They say your great­ness is not what you have, but what you give. And if there’s any truth in that pre­cept then it took hu­man form at the Tas­Bus 2018 Con­fer­ence mid-year, where the lo­cal bus in­dus­try’s char­i­ta­ble hearts were laid bare for all at­ten­dees to see.

Held June 1-2 at the el­e­gant Ho­tel Grand Chan­cel­lor in Ho­bart, Tas­ma­nia, del­e­gates were treated to a won­der­ful oc­ca­sion of in-depth bus in­dus­try ban­ter fol­lowed by an ex­trav­a­gant night­time din­ner func­tion, un­der­writ­ten by its own unique spe­cial­ness of all the state BIC-re­lated func­tions.

The Fri­day-night Wel­come Func­tion kicked off things, with Tas­Bus gen­eral man­ager Ge­off Lewis greet­ing us all and set­ting the gen­eral warm tone of the event. The drinks and tasty nib­bles were an added bonus to the friendly catch-ups be­tween bus and coach op­er­a­tors, in­dus­try ex­perts and the odd me­dia per­son spot­ted ex­pertly ex­e­cut­ing cam­era-jug­gling and drinkhold­ing du­ties while sam­pling above­men­tioned de­li­cious nib­bles. Or so it was re­marked upon.

With the night’s end and the icy night air out­side to be braved by some, the next day’s con­fer­ence started with a range of hot top­ics dis­cussed. The Of­fi­cial Con­fer­ence Open­ing was of­fi­ci­ated by The Hon Jeremy Rock­liff MP, Tas­ma­nian Min­is­ter for In­fras­truc­ture, fol­lowed by words from the Tas­ma­nian La­bor Party’s David O’Byrne MP, Op­po­si­tion Spokesper­son on Trans­port, fol­lowed by the Leader of the Tas­ma­nian Greens, Cassy O’Con­nor MP.

Project 2018’s di­rec­tor John Daw­son gave his up­date fol­lowed

Over­all, a great event that left many look­ing for­ward to the next one...

by a dis­cus­sion on Con­tract Anal­y­sis from Peter Dwyer, a part­ner at Piper Al­der­man. Prior to lunch, Kelli Cum­ming, di­rec­tor Strat­egy & Ser­vice Tran­si­tion Busi­ness Ser­vices for the NHVR up­dated us and talked about Chain of Re­spon­si­bil­ity.

With bel­lies full the hot top­ics con­tin­ued, start­ing with a Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion Changes chat with Dixie Em­mer­ton, CEO of Cen­tre for Tas­ma­nian In­dus­try, fol­lowed by an APTIA Award Up­date from Ian McDon­ald, Na­tional IR man­ager. BIC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Michael Apps ex­pertly de­liv­ered the na­tional up­date, be­fore the main part of the con­fer­ence was wrapped up by Shane Dews­bery, pres­i­dent of Tas­Bus.


With the 3.30pm AGM com­plete, there was a short break to re- en­er­gise and get to the pre-din­ner drinks on the Mez­za­nine level. Again, more chit-chat, schmooz­ing and friendly ban­ter en­sued be­fore the night fes­tiv­i­ties took place.

Key to all this was the award cer­e­mony to hon­our top peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved in the lo­cal bus in­dus­try.

These in­cluded: Ian Garth – Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion 2018; Barry Bon­nitcha (Sty­leride seat­ing) – Tas­ma­nian Bus In­dus­try Le­gend; Jan Bin­g­ley (Merseylink) - In­dus­try Achiever award; Scott Work­man (Hav­nadip Bus

Re­pairs) - En­vi­ron­ment and In­no­va­tion award; Alan Wil­liamson (Dis­tinc­tive Sys­tems) – Sup­plier of the Year award; and Me­gan Morse (MetroTas) – Safety Award.

With the of­fi­cial bit sorted it was time for a bit of fun and fri­vol­ity, but all for a good cause as the now leg­endary Tas­Bus Char­ity Raf­fle & Auc­tion took cen­tre stage. Thou­sands were raised for wor­thy char­i­ties and it was great to see peo­ple hap­pily par­take in the event and give to help so many oth­ers that needed it.

Over­all, a great event that left many look­ing for­ward to the next one, be­lieved to be held in Launce­s­ton next year.

We’ll keep you up to date…

Top L: The band rocked!

Above:The auc­tion in full swing. Great fun.

Top R: A night for win­ners.

Top: GM Lewis says G’day.

Above:Del­e­gates from all over Tassie and be­yond at­tended.

Be­low:Smiles all ’round, lovin’ the event.

Top: Churnin’ out all the hits.

Right:Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion win­ner Ian Garth.

Above:Bub­bles con­grat­u­lates Barry; Me­gan from MetroTas gra­ciously speaks.

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