State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today accepted a petition organised by concerned parents who want a local school bus service to be available for students of Maleny State High School living in parts of the Mooloolah Valley area.
“Today I am accepting this petition which is about parents in Mooloolah who are asking for a safe, affordable and reliable transport option so their children can get to Maleny State High School. Parts of Mooloolah fall into Maleny SHS’s catchment area requiring children to attend that school.” Mr McArdle said.
“Currently students have access to a bus service between Landsborough Station and Maleny State High School, but for those living in the Mooloolah Valley area this means catching a train from Mooloolah Station and waiting up to 40 minutes at Landsborough Station for the connecting bus to school.” Mr McArdle said.
“We have 120 parents who have signed this petition and they represent 43 students who are currently enrolled at Maleny State High School and an additional 97 children who are expected to attend the school in the next five years. That is more than a bus full who need this service.” Mr McArdle said.
Petition organisers Lisa West and Rebecca Shepperson said that many parents have concerns about leaving their children, some as young as 11 years old, to wait at a public train station to catch their school bus.
“As working parents we rely on transport services to get our children to school but the service that is currently available to us in Mooloolah means sending them off, unsupervised. We constantly worry about their safety.” Ms Shepperson said.
“We are at the mercy of the public transport system which does not always line up with the charter bus service. If there are delays, our children can be left waiting for up to 40 mins.” Ms West said.
“There is also the financial strain as parents are unable to obtain fee relief for this transportation. While fee relief does exist, the service we are eligible to get the relief for does not exist.” Ms West said.
“Parents are paying approximately $304 per school term, per student – that is more than $1000 a year out of pocket for each student.”
Mr McArdle said that the petition would be tabled in State Parliament.
“I thank Rebecca and Lisa for their work putting this petition together which I will now bring to Parliament to see if we can get a positive outcome for these parents and their children.” Mr McArdle concluded.