SERVICES CEASE IN THE SOUTH BURNETT - February 2014

Thursday Nov 7 2013. It is with sincere regret that Brisbane Bus Lines will be ceasing services in the South Burnett district from Saturday 1st of February 2014.

This decision has taken several months consideration and has not been made lightly. It is the culmination of many events and changes in various cost components. 

Our last service from Brisbane will be the 5:15pm departure from Brisbane to Murgon on Friday 31st January 2014.

Our last service from Murgon will be the 7:00am departure from Murgon to Brisbane on Saturday 1st February 2014.

In the past fifteen or so years we have watched patronage dwindle and had to reduce a service that once operated north to Biloela with connections to Bundaberg and Rockhampton and served the Brisbane Valley towns of Esk and Toogoolawah as successive governments withdrew rail services and replaced them with ill thought through, replacement road services. Brisbane Bus Lines has never been a recipient of, or eligible for, any assistance from any level of Government to operate services in the South Burnett. It is our understanding that any such assistance is only available to a government contractor selected after a similar service is put out to tender. As such, the best option for both Brisbane Bus Lines and the South Burnett community is for Brisbane Bus Lines to cease operating services and hope that the State Government will step up, call tenders for a service in the South Burnett and support the services in the South Burnett as they have done in many other areas for a decade or more. 

Over the past five or so years, as traffic increased it was necessary in the mornings to spend another hour travelling from our depot to the Transit Centre in the centre of Brisbane so that drivers remained within legal driving hours and ensure a timely departure of the service. Additionally, in the afternoons, extra travel time caused by traffic on the Bruce Highway delayed PM services after leaving the Transit Centre resulting in additional wage costs.

These increased wage costs flowed on to expenses such as workers compensation premiums, superannuation payments and payroll tax.  Changes to the award, in particular weekend penalties and penalty rates for work between 7PM and 6AM meant that these cost increased disproportionally to the increase in hours worked. Enormous additional expense has been incurred complying with new WH&S legislation. Added to this is the looming requirement for all services to be wheel chair accessible to avoid prosecution under the Disability Discrimination Act. This requires a capital investment on which there will be no return. The other parts of our business cannot nor should have to bare this cost.

We can appreciate that this will cause travel disruption and understand that the community deserves a service.  As such we would recommend you contact your local state member.

Finally, all the team at Brisbane Bus Lines would like to thank you for your support over the many years.