‘Drunken youths’ triggered bus bash
UPDATE: April 2, 2015
POLICE have confirmed the boys involved in an attack on a bus driver were not from the Noosa Flexible Learning Centre, as was previously reported.
Its principal Paul Flanders confirmed the students, who got on the bus near Sunshine Beach High School, were not from his school.
A Noosa District State School spokesman confirmed a student from a state high school "was involved."
A SCHOOL bus driver is nursing a black eye and other facial injuries after he was allegedly bashed by a 14-year-old boy.
Police confirmed the youth had been charged with assault causing bodily harm and public nuisance after the incident last Tuesday.
Another 17-year-old was also facing a charge of public nuisance.
A former colleague of the injured bus driver, who asked to remain anonymous, has detailed how the dramatic incident unfolded.
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He said it was believed to have started by someone allegedly smoking on the bus after the pick-up near Sunshine Beach State High School.
"The bus driver radioed the Noosa depot (as he didn't know what caused the alarm) and they arranged for another driver to meet him at Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Noosaville, with a changeover bus," he said.
"While transferring the students to the second bus, it was found one of them had alcohol and four appeared to be intoxicated.
"When the second driver told the youths they couldn't get on the replacement bus, he was allegedly assaulted."
The bus driver was taken to Noosa Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
Buslink has offered its full support to this driver in this incident as well as all other drivers working from the same depot
"The driver has now returned to work," a spokesman said..
This is the first reported assault on a Buslink school bus driver in the past 12 months.
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However, there have been eight reported physical assaults on urban bus drivers on the Sunshine Coast in the past 12 months (February 2014 to February 2015).
The Transport Workers Union has renewed its call for more protection for bus drivers in the wake of the incident.
TWU state secretary, Peter Biagini said the Union had been "fighting for the government to get serious about offenders" for the past three years.
He said there were about 40 reported assaults on bus drivers in Queensland a month and "many more go unreported.
"With the new government, we will be working just as hard to put forward some tough legislation, not just to protect the drivers, but the passengers too.
"We are pushing for duress buttons to be installed on a bus so everyone knows when something is going on, as well as good protective screens."
Mr Biagini said he understood the driver in the Noosa incident had "copped a black eye, had stitches above his eye and bruised ribs".
A police spokesman said the youths would appear in court in a couple of weeks.