Bus driver bashers should be banned: Dametto

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has called for a permanent ban from accessing bus services for anyone who threatens or assaults a bus driver.

ANYBODY who assaults or threatens a bus driver should face a permanent ban from using any bus service in Queensland, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

Mr Dametto said he was “sickened” by news today that Sunbus has reported 52 incidents of driver assault, abuse or other incidents on Townsville buses between October 2019 and April 2020.

“This is absolutely disgusting. These drivers are just trying to do their jobs. Why anyone would want to harm them is beyond me,” he said.

“I don’t care if those committing these assaults are juveniles or adults. If you attempt to harm or threaten a bus driver, find another way home. You don’t deserve to access public transport period.”

Mr Dametto added that he supported drivers’ call for safety screens to be fitted to every TransLink urban bus, of which Sunbus provides bus services for in Townsville and Magnetic Island.

“While it is unfortunate we have reached this point, anything that helps protect bus drivers from aggressive and violent passengers should be implemented as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Mr Dametto said Labor’s soft-on-crime approach had given juvenile offenders “no fear” when it came to committing assaults and theft on buses.

“The community was outraged when we witnessed that CCTV footage of a teenage gang in January terrorising a bus driver in Townsville,” he said.

“This is because there are no consequences for these juvenile offenders other than a slap on a wrist. They don’t have respect for themselves or anybody else, nor any concept of common decency.”

Mr Dametto said Katter’s Australian Party’s relocation sentencing policy would be the “circuit-breaker” needed to reform “these kid criminals”.

“Magistrates would have a third option to punish serial juvenile offenders by sending them to an approved remote property at Lake Julius, west of Mt Isa. The program will give them a life skills by learning a trade and some much-needed discipline,” he said.

“The community has been crying out for a policy like this and it’s about time Labor ditch their do-gooder ways and get tough on crime.”

Nick Dametto MP