State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today sponsored a community-led petition calling on the State Government to create a dedicated school bus service to transport students who live in Baringa to high schools in the region.
It comes as parents are demanding that a Buslink bus service be put in place because Baringa Primary School’s sister high school is not yet constructed and children must travel to other schools.
“There are 60 Year 6 students enrolled at Baringa Primary School this year who will go to Year 7 in 2020. It is safe to say that with so many new families moving into the area and children already going to other high schools, we can expect there will be at minimum of 90 Year 7 students from Baringa who will need to attend a high school in the catchment in 2020,” Mr McArdle said.
“With no high school opening in Baringa until the 2021 school year all those students need to commute to other high schools such as Meridan State College, but at the moment there is no school bus to collect and return them to Baringa.
“This is pathetic planning by the State Government and the Baringa community is demanding a Buslink service be put in place to safely take their children to and from high school.”
Principal petitioner Jamie Broderick said that not having a school bus service in Baringa has put notable strain on families who already have students making the commute to Meriden State College.
“We are launching this petition because currently there is no school bus service to take our kids from Baringa to Meridan State College or other high schools,” Mrs Broderick said.
“Students need a bus to come to Baringa because the current school bus leaves from Unity College which is up to 4.5km from some households.
“Buslink says it is only 3kms to the bus stop, but they are using Baringa Primary school as the starting location and that is simply not accurate. Many students are walking from much further away and it’s too far. It’s not good enough,” Mrs Broderick concluded.
“So far there has been no commitment from the Education or Transport Ministers to put a dedicated school bus service in the area,” Mr McArdle said.
“The children of Baringa deserve better than this. I am asking everyone to sign this petition – not just those who have children impacted. As a larger Sunshine Coast community let’s support these students getting their school bus,” Mr McArdle concluded.
The petition can be signed in person at the Caloundra Electorate Office at 1/20 Ormuz Ave Caloundra and online at: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3136
A public forum to discuss the public and school transport needs of Baringa, Bellvista and Bells Reach will be held this Saturday 18 May, 10am- 12pm at the Caloundra Powerboat Club.