The Northern Territory government has announced the contract to run the first dedicated school bus service for Tennant Creek, with an operator chosen to run services from the first day of term one next year in the Barkly region.
ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) will run the first dedicated school bus transport service in the NT town of Tennant Creek to help get more children to school each and every day.
The contract will run for five years, with CDC being the sole operator of new school bus transport services in Tennant Creek.
Starting on January 30, 2024, the first day of term one, it will be the first time CDC has delivered services in the Barkly region.
The contract will see eight services created for four new routes to support travelling students.
With 378 students currently enrolled at Tennant Primary and 147 at Tennant Creek High School, the bus service will make getting to school easier for students and will help encourage more students to attend each day.
The new contract will cover the Greater Tennant Creek area, transferring students across four routes twice a day to and from both schools.
NT education minister Eva Lawler says the government continues to recognise the educational needs of isolated families and to establish support mechanisms to overcome barriers.
“This is an important barrier broken down to ensure each child, no matter where they live, goes to school every day,” Lawler says.
“Tennant Creek Primary and High School do an incredible job providing a high level of education to student’s from right across the Barkly region.
“As this is the first ever dedicated school bus service in Tennant Creek, we are confident we will see increases in student attendance and enrolments, while additionally creating more jobs and long term employment across the region.”
Each year, the Territory government invests $22.77 million into ensuring students get to school via a school bus service, with Tennant Creek the ninth region to receive the service.
The bus service fleet will consist of four new 30-seater buses driven by six local drivers who are being offered a $1000 sign on bonus if qualified.
The buses will be I-Bus models courtesy of Bus Stop Sales.
CDC regional Australia division CEO Tony Hopkins says the company is thrilled to announce its expansion into the region.
“We look forward to beginning services in Tennant Creek next year. Our commitment to providing exceptional transportation extends beyond just buses, it’s about building connections within the community. These services are not just about buses and routes, they are about the possibilities that they bring to our customers lives,” Hopkins says.
“We’re very pleased that the Northern Territory government is expanding its partnership with CDC, a long-term operator that has invested significantly in its Northern Territory operations, including some of Australia’s most remote locations.”
Hopkins says CDC will soon begin recruiting local drivers.
“We are encouraging locals who are interested in joining our group as casual school bus drivers to contact us for information about available positions,” Hopkins says.
“We are currently offering a special $1000 sign-on bonus for eligible employees joining us in Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. For those new to bus driving in the NT, we offer fully paid driver training programs with free licence upgrade and on-the-job training, which is valued at up to $5000.”
Hopkins says Tennant Creek school bus drivers will only require a Light Rigid (LR) license rather than the Medium Rigid and Heavy Rigid licenses required to drive larger school buses and heavy vehicles.
“If you have a car driving license and good driving record and may be considering a career shift or change of pace heading into retirement, this is a great opportunity to join one of the country’s largest bus operators and earn while you learn,” Hopkins says.
“As well as employing and training local people, we look forward to engaging with Tennant Creek suppliers to assist our local business operations.”
The news of the Tennant Creek contract comes after CDC was awarded 100 per cent of the government’s Darwin, Palmerston and rural area contract for urban and school bus services in July 2022.
CDC also services communities in Alice Springs, Humpty Doo, Jabiru, and Batchelor regions.
Jobseekers can apply for new roles or lodge an expression of interest via CDC Northern Territory’s Apply Now webpage at cdcnorthernterritory.com.au.