Member for Roe and Shadow Minister for Education Peter Rundle MLA has welcomed the commitment made by the Minister for Transport to conduct a full inquiry into the current regulations and guidelines for School Bus Services (SBS).
Mr Rundle said the service provided transport assistance to more than 26,000 students in Western Australia, all of whom were familiar with the sight of the iconic orange school buses driving down gravel roads in rural parts of the State.
“The guidelines that decide where a bus stops and who is an eligible student were formulated in 1999 – they are outdated and unworkable,” Mr Rundle said.
“My electorate offices are constantly receiving correspondence from parents, students and Principals who are distressed about how the SBS currently operates.
“We have had issues from Salmon Gums and Munglinup in the south to Wagin and Darkan in the north of the Electorate, and places in between.
“Some of the decisions about where a bus stops and who is eligible are resulting in parents being forced to leave employment because they cannot access the bus route that will take their child to school.
“It’s not just the community being impacted – staff at School Bus Services are also forced to make decisions based on the outdated rules which I can only imagine would cause a lot of grief.”
Before the winter break, Mr Rundle used Parliament to ask the Minister for Transport to review the regulations which the Minister agreed to and subsequently asked Mr Rundle to be part of the review process.
“I was delighted to accept being part of this process that will help many families in regional areas access quality transport assistance,” Mr Rundle said.
“Education is fundamental for every child in this State, and parents and carers should not have to be worried about how their child will get to school.
“I look forward to taking part in the review and putting the issues and concerns of regional West Australia at the forefront.”