‘URGENT’ SOUTH OZ SCHOOL BUS-SERVICES EXPANSION

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: stock - various


THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN Liberal government is committing $17.3 million for expanded school bus services, in addition to $42 million for “urgent” capital works for specific schools, it announced recently.

‘URGENT’ SOUTH OZ SCHOOL BUS-SERVICES EXPANSION
Bus SA president Stephen Lucas says the Government’s announcement is most welcome.

In the State Budget 2021-22 $17.3 million has been allocated for new and expanded Adelaide Metro bus services to cater for the significant number of extra students set to attend secondary schools due to the transition of Year 7 into high school and the opening of two new state schools in Aldinga and Angle Vale, the government explains.

School bus funding includes:

* $12 million over two years for 20 new school buses;

* $497,000 in 2021-22 increasing to $1 million per year from 2022-23 to operate new and expanded bus services to support the Year 7 transition to high school from 2022;

* $388,000 in 2021-22, $844,000 in 2022-23 and $450,000 in 2023-24 to lease buses to service two new state schools - Aldinga Payinthi College and Riverbanks College B-12 - with the level of ongoing services required at the new schools to be reviewed as staged enrolments progress, it states.

"The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to providing school students with safe and reliable bus services and improving and modernising our public transport system," said Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard.

"This initiative will make sure our system can cater for the increased commuter demand during the peak morning and afternoon periods, minimising the impact on the broader network and other patrons."

The 20 new buses will be delivered by January, 2022, the state government confirms.

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PLEDGE WELCOMED

Bus SA president Stephen Lucas says the Government’s announcement is most welcome.

"It’s pleasing to see more support to help our industry meet the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis," said Lucas.

"The school segment of the bus industry does the hard yards, carrying South Australian students safely to and from school every day."

"School buses are a particularly vital service in many rural communities where increased government support is sorely needed."

"Bus SA looks forward to working cooperatively with the Government to make sure expenditure goes to areas where resources are most needed, and where there will be maximum value for the public and the State," he said. 

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CAPITAL WORKS

Five schools and two preschools are receiving a share of the $42 million component for urgent capital works as part of the state government’s ongoing commitment to improve education infrastructure across the state, it explains.

Along with works at Eastern Fleurieu R-12 School at the Langhorne Creek campus, Elliston RSL Memorial Children’s Centre and Salisbury East High School announced in recent weeks, four new projects were announced for the first time yesterday.

Projects at Seaview Downs Primary School and Pimpala Primary School in Morphett Vale have budgets of $15 million and $12 million, respectively, to replace aged facilities well past their use-by date with contemporary learning areas that offer flexibility and opportunities for collaboration, as well as new administration areas, the SA government says.

Also $5 million is budgeted for Nailsworth Primary School to upgrade an existing building, which will provide additional capacity for growing enrolments, it states.

Balharry Kindergarten in Lucindale will receive $500,000 to extend the preschool, which will allow for the accommodation of rural care in the one location, it adds.

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BETTER SERVICES

"This $42 million prioritises funding for urgent capital works as part of the record $1.3 billion the Marshall Liberal Government is investing into public education infrastructure across the state to provide our students and staff with state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities," said Premier Steven Marshall.

"Our Budget for a stronger South Australia is creating jobs, building what matters and delivering better services to further secure our state’s growing global reputation as one of the world’s safest and most attractive places to live, work and raise a family."

Minister for Education John Gardner said: "These works have come about because we continue to listen to our education communities who are passionate about their schools and preschools and access to high quality learning environments."

"South Australian jobs will continue to be supported through this funding by creating work for trades, who then bring business into these communities."

"Our children deserve great facilities for their schooling and these projects will deliver that while also providing jobs for South Australians in these communities."

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THE BREAKDOWN

State government education sites receiving funding:

* Seaview Downs Primary School $15 million

* Pimpala Primary School $12 million

* Nailsworth Primary School $5 million

* Salisbury East High School $4 million

* Eastern Fleurieu R-12 School (Langhorne Creek Campus) $3 million

* Elliston RSL Memorial Children’s Centre $2 million

* Balharry Kindergarten $500,000

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