The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath and The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien have called for the Andrews Labor Government to restore school bus access for Gormandale families living along Merrimans Creek Road.
Ms Bath asked the Minister for Education in Parliament to ensure that the Andrews Labor Government restores this service that had operated effectively since the 1970s.
“The Minister has refused this request despite the fact that going back as far as 40 years, the school bus came along Merrimans Creek Road,” Ms Bath said.
“Now, families living beyond the Lays Road intersection have to make their own arrangements to travel the three kilometres to the school bus meeting point.”
“We’re told that part of the issue is the turning circle for the school bus at the end of Merrimans Creek Road, yet this wasn’t a problem for decades before. Buses were able to turn around at the end of this road for 40 years, but now they can’t? Why is that?”
“This year there are seven children who would board the bus along this road. The criteria set for inclusion in the bus route is six – here we have seven and this is due to increase next year with growing young families.”
“This is a rural community. Some of these families are dairy farmers, and of course are trying to milk at the same time as the school run.”
“The school community certainly supports the calls from residents along this road, but the Labor Government won’t budge.”
Ms Bath and Mr O’Brien visited families in Merrimans Creek Road last week to hear their frustrations.
“School bus services are critically important for rural families and we need to make it as easy as possible for our children to get a good education,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Gormandale Primary is a great little school and the families love sending their children there.”
“We call on the Minister to review this decision and ensure Gormandale families get the school bus service they need.”