Surfside Bus service.
Surfside Bus service. Blainey Woodham

Union wants state of emergency

TWEED bus drivers could work from behind security glass after an attack on a Surfside bus driver on Tuesday.

Transport Workers Union said enough is enough after another attack on a Surfside bus driver in Miami.

According to the bus company, the attack on the bus driver occurred about 12pm (Qld) and took the number of attacks on Surfside bus drivers up to eight in a month.

Surfside buses operate on routes around Tweed Heads as well as the Gold Coast.

TWU Gold Coast organiser Troy Fernandez said the union want a "state of emergency" declared to protect bus drivers.

"The minister (Qld Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk) needs to instruct Translink to immediately release funds for security screens and duress buttons on buses," Mr Fernandez said.

TWU Queensland spokesman Michael Wong said it was time to amend the criminal code to make these attacks on bus drivers' criminal assaults.

"These bus drivers need the same protection as firefighters, police and paramedics," Mr Wong said.

In a statement released yesterday Surfside owner Transit Australia Group stated that the driver attacked yesterday at Miami had "facial injuries and is unable to drive".

"The driver has been offered medical attention and counselling," the statement said.

"Surfside has recorded an alarming eight unprovoked physical attacks on drivers in one month, five of which have happened in daylight.

"On several of those occasions duress buttons would have not assisted.

"Our security providers have a response time of three-four minutes anywhere on our network."

A Surfside spokeswoman said buses were fitted with CCTV cameras to cover all areas of the vehicle.

"Anyone who assaults or abuses our drivers will be prosecuted," the spokeswoman said.



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