ACT News


Bus firm looks into racism complaint

ACTION Buses has launched an investigation into reports of racial abuse targeting a group of international students on Tuesday.

Canberra radio station 2CC reported on Wednesday that a 55-year-old Korean woman had been called a ''f---ing Asian'' and told to ''go home'' by a group of teenagers on a bus in Bruce.

The woman was travelling with two other Asian students about 1.30pm when she asked to pass the five teenagers who were blocking the door.

The group of four boys and one girl taunted her, yelling racial slurs until she left the bus, and then abusing the two other students.

Speaking on behalf of the students, teacher Chris Bannerman said the teenagers had asked the students for the time and then imitated their accents and yelled further abuse.

''My students had no idea of what was going on, with these kids making fun of them and no one on the bus coming to their assistance,'' he said. ''The other passengers avoided the group and the driver didn't assist them in any way, which I think is disappointing.''


Mr Bannerman said he had lodged an official complaint with ACTION on behalf of the students who have limited English, and said bus drivers should be required to intervene in similar situations when it was safe to do so.

''It is probably not appropriate that this incident be reported to the police but the driver or other passengers should have given these kids a strong talking to and kicked them off the bus if it continued,'' he said. ''They told me that all a driver can do is use the radio to report this kind of thing and police officers will come and meet the bus.''

An ACTION Buses spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident on Wednesday but said an investigation had been launched into a complaint about racial abuse on a Canberra bus.

''No public comment will be made while the investigation is under way,'' she said.

She called on anyone with information about this or similar incidents to contact ACTION on 13 17 10 and said all reports would be taken seriously.


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