New deal for orange school bus business
The State Government will deliver on its long-term commitment to maintaining the traditional orange school bus industry through the introduction of so-called ‘evergreen’ contracts and simpler contractual arrangements.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the evergreen contracts would allow operators to continue their contract indefinitely, subject to an ongoing need for service in their locality and to meeting a number of key performance indicators (KPIs).
“The Liberal-National Government recognises the importance of the service provided by orange school bus operators in regional areas - these services and the people who provide them are critical to the local community,” Mr Buswell said.
“The current contractual arrangements, introduced by the previous Labor government in 2003, created two significant issues for orange school bus operators - loss of tenure and a range of complex contractual arrangements.
“Under the new system, the Government will develop a simpler contractual framework, which will include KPIs, and school bus contractors who meet these KPIs will have their contracts renewed without going to open tendering.
“Clearly operators will be expected to maintain a high level of service, and the introduction of KPIs will provide a consistent measure of performance across the 830 school bus contracts in Western Australia.
“Contracts which have been too lengthy, too legalistic and too complex will be simplified and easier to understand, resulting in streamlined contracts and contract management operations.
“This will be a far more holistic approach to governance of this industry, in recognition of the unique role it plays in regional Western Australian communities.”
The Minister said negotiations over the specific content of the new contracts would commence with industry now, and he expected the phased implementation of the new arrangements to commence from the start of the 2013-14 financial year.
- There are 830 school bus contracts in WA
- The current contracts were established and signed in December 2003 to January 2004