Driver-protection barriers already on some Illawarra buses

Some buses in the Illawarra already are fitted with driver-protection barriers, said a Transport for NSW spokesman. Picture: Janie Barrett
Some buses in the Illawarra already are fitted with driver-protection barriers, said a Transport for NSW spokesman. Picture: Janie Barrett

Transport for NSW won’t follow Brisbane’s lead and install driver-protection barriers on all buses.

But the body said some buses in the Illawarra area already have this protection.

This week Brisbane City Council announced plans to install driver-protection barriers on the city’s buses.

The installation of the barriers was a finding of the government-ordered Bus Driver Safety Review.

One month after the review was ordered Manmeet Sharma died during an unprovoked attack while he was behind the wheel of a Brisbane City Council bus.

Mr Sharma died when an “incendiary device” was thrown at him, burning him to death.

Police charged 48-year-old Anthony Mark Edward O’Donohue over the attack. His case was suspended and moved to the Mental Health Court.

On Friday, the government released its response to the safety review, which included $3.93 million for protective driver-safety barriers, which operators could apply for as part of a 50-50 government grant.

Brisbane is rolling out the barriers from July 1.

In the Illawarra there had been nine reported assaults on drivers in the Illawarra in the last three years, according to Transport for NSW, with none occurring since June 2017.

“All bus operators in NSW work closely with NSW Police to ensure the safety of customers and staff,” a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

“The decision to install additional driver-protection barriers is at the discretion of the operator.

“Both Dion’s and Premier Illawarra have these screens on some of the buses in their fleet.”

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