17 June, 2021
Local students up the creek without subsidised bus routes
IN APRIL this year, Member for Glass House Andrew Powell launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for an urgent review of the State Government’s ‘Student Transport Assistance
Currently, students living in a school catchment area (as defined by the Department of Education) do not always have access to subsidised public transport to that school.
“STAS has stopped parents in Delaneys’ Creek trying to send their kids to Woodford and Kilcoy High Schools, and parents in Ocean View trying to get their kids to their closest geographical school at Mount Mee,” said Mr Powell.
“The policy means the Government simply refuses to subsidise these routes.”
“The STAS review petition was tabled in Parliament with over six hundred signatures from local mums and dads, fed up with having to drive out of their way just to get their kids to their designated catchment school each day or, worse, resorting to send their children to another school.”
“Well shame on the Transport Minister! He has responded to the petition saying that he has no specific plans to review STAS.”
According to the Minister, it is anticipated that further opportunities to improve and enhance STAS will be delivered progressively as a result of “transitioning to a more consistent route-based network”.
“In other words, he hopes that the policy will just fix itself in time, but he isn’t willing to actively call on the Queensland Audit Office or another independent third party to conduct a statewide review.”
The P&C at Mount Mee State School have undertaken a comprehensive survey of parents to show there is support and need for a better bus service in Ocean View.
If the service is not upgraded, the school will continue to lose students to Dayboro State School, which is certainly not a desirable outcome for the teachers, staff, parents and students at Mount Mee.
“It’s just not appropriate for the Department of Transport and Main Roads to prioritise network “connectivity” over educational needs.”
“Glass House kids need to be able to access affordable public transport to the catchment school that the Department of Education has placed them in. I’m going to keep fighting for this to happen, especially for Mount Mee families who are desperately hoping for a better outcome in 2022,” concluded Mr Powell.