Howard Hobbs
Howard Hobbs

Howard Hobbs swore at me says Roma mum

MEMBER for Warrego Howard Hobbs has denied allegations he swore at a school mum who visited his office in Roma to talk about changes to the Mitchell and Bungeworgorai bus service.

Roma school mum Nadine Richards said Mr Hobbs swore at her in front of her children on Friday, August 30, when she went to inquire about the date for a meeting regarding changes to the bus service.

"My husband and I have never met him before in our lives, and he came charging out yelling about the rules for the bus meeting," Nadine said.

"When I asked him to consider the fare-paying students of Mitchell, he stated that he did not care.

"He then swore at me when I said that I would take his stance to the media.

"I have made a formal complaint to the Premier's office about his conduct, and all communications with his office have ceased."

Nadine said Mr Hobbs would not allow parents of fare-payers to speak at his meetings, even though the Transport Department and the Member for Maranoa, Bruce Scott, allowed the parents of fare-payers to speak at their meetings.

"The fare-paying students are the ones being impacted by the changes to the bus services," she said.

Nadine said changes to the Mitchell and Bunge bus services were caused by an overload on the Donnybrook bus service.

"If a larger bus had been used to service the Donnybrook route, the Mitchell and Bunge bus services would not have been impacted at all.," she said.

Howard Hobbs said he didn't swear at Mrs Richards and was disappointed his staff and those of the Department of Transport had been treated with disrespect and in a threatening manner by Mrs Richards.

"I have also been advised that Mrs Richards has misrepresented constituents to my office and the department.

"I am disappointed that her actions have been focused on achieving a lesser service for some children," he said.

"I have been advised by several other parents that Mrs Richards doesn't represent their views.

"This is a complex situation and I have endeavoured to manage it in fair and reasonable way."

When asked about why fare paying parents aren't allowed to speak at the proposed bus meetings Mr Hobbs said the proposed meetings were to deal with matters pertaining to proposals which affected eligible students on three school bus runs. 

"The issues with fare paying students between Mitchell and Roma are separate to these matters," he said.

"Options exist for an operator to self fund and run a commercial bus should fare paying passengers exceed available seats. 

"These are commercial operations and not the responsibility of State Government under the State Transport Assistance Scheme."