State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today commended the efforts of the Bellvista and Bells Reach communities as the fight to reopen closed bus stop locations has seen a great victory, though at a reduced service and frequency with details yet to be finalised.

It comes as residents of the area were left reeling in March when signs appeared on six bus stop locations stating they would be permanently closed, effectively isolating anyone in the area who required public transport. After intense public pressure the Transport Minister Mark Bailey confirmed that stops would be reopened as part of a dedicated service for the area.

Mark with Principal Petitioners David and Robyn Thomson

Mark with Principal Petitioners David and Robyn Thomson

“It is hard to believe that a Government would be so cruel as to take away so many bus stops from citizens, many of whom rely on buses for their independence. Finally the Government has taken action but it was a situation that never should have been allowed to happen in the first place,” Mr McArdle said.

“There has been a lot of upset and anger in this community over the unceremonious closer of these bus stops. It’s very clear that Translink and Mark Bailey were not listing to the needs of the community, but this weekend it seems they finally unblocked their ears.

“I held a public forum on 18 May to push the Government to take action because the community demanded action.

“I want to thank everyone who stepped up to the plate including David Thomson who took the step of starting the petition and would not back down.

“In State Parliament last Friday night I called on the Minister to intervene as the action by the Labor Government had caused great angst among the public.

“There are still many details to work through before we see this resolution finalised so I encourage those who were already planning to attend the Community meeting with Translink on Tuesday 18th June to still go and tell the representatives what they want and need from this service.

“A great outcome for this community and I truly hope the next announcement will be a dedicated school bus service to transport Baringa’s children to High School. We must ensure these communities get their buses,” Mr McArdle concluded.