Bus drivers navigate a minefield of old syringes
IPSWICH bus drivers say they have to walk over used syringes and swabs to access their second-class toilet and meal facilities at the Ipswich Transit Centre.
The Transport Workers' Union (TWU) said the situation came less than 12 months after the derelict transit centre was covered in bloodstains and smashed glass,
"It's disgusting how much our government continues to treat bus drivers like second-class citizens," TWU state secretary Peter Biagini said. "There are a dozen syringes and swabs on the ground and TransLink think this is okay for their bus drivers to use. The floods washed this place out and it was immediately shut down to passengers, but it took TransLink two more years to decide to officially board it up.
"How would Transport Minister Scott Emerson and his TransLink bosses like to have to step over blood, glass and syringes to use their toilet?"
Responding to the TWU's claims, a spokesman for Mr Emerson said the temporary facilities will not be required due to route changes under the SEQ Bus Review.
"Temporary facilities have remained available at the Ipswich Transit Centre for drivers to use as bus parking is sometimes unavailable during busy times at Riverlink," the spokesman said. "Until this time, TransLink has provided lockable toilets specifically for drivers. It has also increased the frequency of cleaning being undertaken following concerns raised by bus drivers.
"TransLink and its local operator, Westside, take the concerns of drivers very seriously. They will continue to monitor the situation and take action where necessary."
Member for Ipswich Ian Berry was pleased with the outcome.
"After raising this issue with the minister, I am pleased to note that, from December 2, drivers will no longer need to use the temporary facilities at the Ipswich Transit Centre," Mr Berry said.
"The route changes under the SEQ Bus Review will enable drivers to utilise the new facilities at the Riverlink bus hub, even during peak times, which is a great outcome."