Regional South Australian school students and their families have been left in limbo over school bus services, despite the State Government undertaking a review more than 12 months ago.
During question time in Parliament today, the Education Minister apologised for the delay while admitting she is “reviewing the draft of the review” to make sure that it is “indeed the nature of the review that was requested”.
The Education Minister also revealed that the Regional Development Minister, who announced the review on 26 June last year is yet to receive a copy of the report.
Mr PISONI ( Unley ) ( 15:05 ): Supplementary, sir: has the Minister for Regional Development received a copy of the report?
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE ( Port Adelaide, Minister for Education and Child Development, Minister for the Public Sector) (15:05): There is no final report for him to have received a copy of.
Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the State Government’s failure to act on school bus service issues in regional areas puts students at a major disadvantage.
“I’m constantly contacted by parents concerned about the inequalities of our school bus services,” Mr Whetstone said.
“The five kilometre rule disadvantages catholic and independent schools and shows a lack of common-sense and there are issues with bus stop locations and the right of school choice when it comes to school bus services.
“I was shocked to hear today that the Education Department has put this important review on the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list with the Education Minister reviewing the review and the Regional Development Minister yet to see the report.
“The Regional Development Minister must explain why he is not standing up to his Cabinet colleagues and demanding this vital review is undertaken immediately.
“This is just another example of the Weatherill Labor Government’s neglect of regional South Australia.”