Rural students need school buses – and a viable school bus service, available to all, is essential, said Member for Frome Geoff Brock.
Mr Brock has been campaigning and lobbying the State Government since 2013 when he asked Parliament to review the Department of Education School Transport Policy to achieve equity for all students, no matter where they lived or their school of choice.
“The first review of school buses since 2006 happened in 2015 when some changes occurred, but they did not address concerns raised about students travelling from their rural homes to go to private schools,” Mr Brock said.
“The Liberal Government made an election promise to conduct another review and I am pleased that commencement is underway.”
There are more than 430 school bus routes for students throughout regional South Australia which are used by about 14,600 students.
The Government is also considering making school buses available for broader community use.
Mr Brock said he was pleased the Liberal Government was reaching out to rural South Australians through a public consultation and asking parent and caregivers to consider several questions.
“I have had a number of discussions, over many years, with parents and school principals about rural bus services and I now encourage the public to take this opportunity to contribute to the consultation – this is an important issue for our regional students,” he said.
Consultation questions include the impact of ensuring all school students have the opportunity to take a school bus to school, impacts if buses stopped at non-government schools, impacts if the buses were made available for community services and how the transfer of the school bus responsibility from the Education Department to the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure would make services more effective and efficient.
The consultation is open until Friday, February 15 at: yoursay.sa.gov.au