11 October 2019

Canberra Liberals to bring back dedicated school buses if elected

| Lachlan Roberts
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The Canberra Liberals said they will bring back dedicated school buses if they are elected. Photo: File.

The Canberra Liberals have promised to reinstate dedicated school buses if they are elected to government in the 2020 ACT Election, saying that dedicated services for school students are a basic service that the ACT Government should provide.

Canberra Liberals transport spokesperson Candice Burch said a Liberal Government will prioritise dedicated school bus services, and reinstate lost routes where school communities want them back.

As part of the new bus network which came into effect in April, 51 schools were left without a dedicated school bus service. At the time, the ACT Government said the schools which no longer had a dedicated bus service were primary, early childhood or infant schools with very low bus patronage or high schools or colleges that would be served by regular bus routes.

But Ms Burch said that she has heard about widespread dissatisfaction with the new service from both public and private school communities, including principals, teachers, parents and some students.

“It has now been two school terms and we have heard from dozens of schools and from hundreds of Canberra families who have been negatively impacted by these changes,” Ms Burch said.

“We have heard from countless families who have now returned to driving their kids to and from school and many parents have told us they have had to change their work hours so they can drive their kids to and from school.

“There are far too many families who do not feel comfortable putting their kids on the public [transport] network.”

Ms Burch said the Liberals will not completely overhaul the network but will only be “adding back in services where there is a demand for them”. Ms Burch was adamant that any schools which are better off under the new network will not be affected.

She said the Canberra Liberals will consult with school communities to see how they can make the service better for them.

“What we’re hearing from Canberrans – from the people actually using these services – is vastly different from the narrative that both Minister Steel and his predecessor, Meegan Fitzharris, have tried to sell,” Ms Burch said.

“The Barr Government has ignored the outcry from parents to bring back dedicated school services. They have put dedicated school buses as the last priority in their service hierarchy – for the many families who rely on these services, that is simply not good enough.

“Parents deserve peace of mind when it comes to getting their kids to school. That’s why we’re making a commitment to prioritise dedicated school services.”

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cbrbrumbiesraiders12:43 pm 03 Nov 19

According to an ACT Bus union spokesperson, the Canberra Liberals will axe the following routes in 2020, if they win the general election:

Routes at risk are:

The Libs will also not buy new buses! Meaning we might stay stuck with those old orange buses for a while if they get into govt,

sweepercover4:07 pm 14 Oct 19

Sheer arrogance of Barr government in ignoring commuter complaints regarding the new network is beyond me. Hopefully the voters will remember what they did come the election time.

HiddenDragon8:40 pm 13 Oct 19

“We have heard from countless families who have now returned to driving their kids to and from school and many parents have told us they have had to change their work hours so they can drive their kids to and from school.”

The Government has doubtless been told (if not heard) the same things, and in the spirit of its Climate Emergency Declaration –


should be acting accordingly – unless, of course, it has worked out that private car use (horror of horrors) is actually a more sustainable way of dealing with this issue…….

Wow, the people posting on here from facebook are hilarious. Some of the very same people that complained the loudest about the bus routes are now whining that the Libs want to fix it? What is wrong with people?

If you want to complain about cuts to education, who closed over half the public schools in the ACT? That’s right, Labor did. Whos been slashing funding to health? Labor has.

They have been in power here for 18 years now, and do whatever they like because they know dullards will vote them back in. They screw ACT residents over with massive rate increases, cuts to general services, cuts to education, cuts to health, and allowing Rattenbury to hold them over a barrel. And people are still all “Durrr but whadabboud da librulz! Dey can’t do it! Durrrrrr”.

The ACT is so full of rusted on fools that they don’t care how horribly Labor are governing, as long as the Libs don’t get in and probably do better.

Stephen Saunders2:35 pm 13 Oct 19

They got a hiding in 2016, over light rail. They’ve learnt nothing from the experience. Mind you, one could say the same about Albanese Labor.

No, they didn’t get a hiding in 2016 over the light rail. They won quite comfortably. So the learnings for that election were that the light rail is actually very popular.

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