Discussions Continue for Mount Gambier Bus Service

Thursday February 15, 2024

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has expressed concern after issues were raised in Question time last week by the Member for Mount Gambier, in relation to the Mount Gambier Bus Service.

On Tuesday 6th February, Mr Bell delivered a grievance debate, highlighting that the current contract is not fit for purpose.  Mr Bell followed on from Tuesday’s speech with a question to Minister Koutsantonis on Thursday 8th February, asking if a review would be conducted into the current 8-year contract. 

“The route has not changed in over 30 years and the department did not address any of the issues highlighted by the City of Mount Gambier's council and their feedback from residents.” Mr Bell said

Minister Koutsantonis acknowledged Mr Bell’s question and agreed to have his department investigate the matter.   “Whenever you go out to market for new services, to replace a service or to continue a service, there are often opportunities for improvements. It is very difficult in regional communities for us to always get that right.”

He said, “It does concern me a lot that there may be a contract in place which is not actually serving the needs of the local community."

Minister Koustantonis highlighted that things could be done to improve the service without changing the contract, but also emphasised there may be things that cannot be fixed.  

“We can look at the service delivery method and model, whether or not we can do alternatives to that, but what that will mean within an existing package is a reprioritisation.”

He acknowledged that improvements could be made and “if we can do them within a package and a framework, we will.” 

Minister Koutsantonis stated, “What I do undertake to the house is to go away and meet with the member and talk to the local council about this and what we can do to improve it.”

Mr Bell is looking forward to continuing discussions with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and The City of Mount Gambier council.

“I am hopeful that we can use this opportunity to work collaboratively with the Minister and the City Council to further explore the ways that we can bring our public transport service to a standard that our regional residents deserve.”