Stoner lobbied over bus safety

Andrew Stoner
Andrew Stoner

WITH the budgetary resources of the opposition being a grand total of zero, the member for Oxley and leader of the NSW Nationals, Andrew Stoner, said it was no easy task to cost the implications of a proposal put to him by members of the BUS (Belt Up for Safety) Action Group.

Mr Stoner said Valla BUS members were proposing $8 million (one percent of the current annual school transport scheme) be dedicated to addressing the dangers to children on school buses on the most extreme routes in the coming financial year.

An immediate ban on children standing on these routes is the plan with variations in government contracts with bus companies suggested as the means.

Spokesman Theo Chang said reducing the carrying capacity of the buses would remove the current barrier preventing NSW school buses applying for the $25,000 Federal subsidy to retro-fit their buses with seatbelts.

Mr Stoner said a ban on children standing would require more buses.

“Even if we did this just on high risk routes, the costs could be significant,” he said.

“We need to carefully cost this and I have passed it to shadow transport minister, Gladys Berejiklian, to begin assessing it.

“Our intention is definitely to do something about this issue, should we win government.”

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