School bus transport issues

28 March 2018, Mr McCurdy (Ovens Valley): I wish to highlight the number of students in the Ovens Valley electorate who have been left stranded by the Andrews government.

Each week I am alerted to more and more cases of country kids left without transport to school due to policy changes by the Andrews government.

How can this government make hollow claims that it is overseeing the education state when in fact it refuses to make the necessary changes to ensure our country kids can have bus travel?

I received a letter from a bus coordinator who understands the system very, very well, which says that this discrimination must stop.

I have an example of a family where two children are non-paying students, the third is a paying student on a different V/Line bus and the fourth child has to be taken to school by their parents. This chaos has to end.

I also wish to raise the concerns of Jacqui Younger, who is paying $720 to travel on the closest school bus to Hansonville.

The Catholic school they have chosen is 1 kilometre further away than their closest Catholic school.

This government does not understand the term 'community of interest'. That is when a family who lives closer by a mere couple of kilometres, if they want a free bus arrangement, must attend a particular town.

However, in some cases mum and dad both work in the other town, the children play sport in that town and, therefore, the practical outcome is to go to school in that town.

Where is the common sense and understanding of regional communities under this government?

These children cannot just jump on a heavily subsidised train or tram to get to the school of their choice. These country kids are literally left high and dry.

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