State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle is today demanding an answer as to why families of school-aged children are still waiting for a dedicated school bus service to transport them between Baringa and Meridan State College, amid a new public service in the area opening at the end of the month.

It comes as Transport Minister Mark Bailey this week announced the new Translink service to the Baringa area would begin operating on 25 March.

“While increased public transport options for this growing community is welcomed, let me be very clear – this is not a school bus service. This is not the service that concerned parents have been demanding for months,” Mr McArdle said.

“With no high school opening in Baringa until the 2021 school year there is a large number of children already commuting from the area to Meridan State College.

“For the 2020 school year there will be at minimum of 90 Year 7 students from the area who will also start high school at Meridan State College.

“If this State Government did not have the foresight to open Baringa High School in time for the 2020 school year they could have at least ensured students had a safe and reliable school bus service from their homes to the high school they must attend until 2021.

“So far there has been no commitment from the Education or Transport Minister to put a dedicated school bus service in the area, or extend the stops for the existing service to better accommodate this community’s families.

“Should we read between the lines? Is this new public service supposed to replace the school buses their children have so far been denied?” Mr McArdle concluded.