AS the Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst I would like to congratulate the state government for listening to the concerns of schools in regional Victoria about proposed changes to the bus conveyance allowance in 2013.
The initial proposal had serious implications for students across Victoria who rely on buses to attend school, especially students in rural Victoria and if upheld, would have placed serious financial stress on many rural families.
The decision by the state government to reverse its decision of means-testing students for the bus conveyance allowance is the result of intense lobbying by schools, parents, communities and local members of Parliament who listened to their constituents and we are delighted with the outcome.
I would like to acknowledge the advocacy of local state members of the government and the opposition, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria, who have all been a strong voice for regional families at a government level.
Catholic Education Sandhurst believes parents have the right to choose where they send their child to school and should not be disadvantaged by doing so.
Many families in Catholic schools rely on the bus service to deliver their children safely to school and don’t have access to public transport like their city counterparts.
This decision to modify the proposed changes to the conveyance allowance program is welcomed by all families who rely on the government bus subsidy for their child to attend school.
Thank you to the Victorian Coalition government for listening.
Ms Phil Billington
Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst