The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Gaelle Broad, has raised the urgent need for a funding commitment to the regional school crossing supervisor program after significant cuts from the Andrews Government.
The program was previously fully funded through the Department of Transport, with the percentage contribution from the Victorian Government rapidly declining in recent years.
Speaking in the Legislative Council, Ms Broad raised the need for funding restoration to support councils and safeguard schoolchildren in regional areas.
“I recently had a meeting at the Strathbogie Shire with my lower house colleague Annabelle Cleeland. It seems the system is broken,” Ms Broad said.
“In 2016 the Victorian Government committed to undertaking a strategic review of the school crossing program, the findings were due in 2018 – but nothing has happened since.
“Regional families want to know what action the Government is taking to ensure the safety of local school kids in the Strathbogie Shire and across the state and provide an update on the findings of the review.
“The ratepayers of Strathbogie – along with 28 other councils – want to see a restoration of funding for this critical service, and I call on the Minister to provide this funding in the State Budget.”
Speaking from Parliament, The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, said she was being contacted by concerned locals about the potential discontinuation of the service.
“The possibility of school crossing supervisors not being funded is really concerning local families whose children trust and build strong relationships with these supervisors,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Not only are there safety concerns, but supervisors across the region are also reaching out, worried about the future of their employment.
“There’s plenty of fat in metro projects across the State Budget. The Andrews Government shouldn’t be cutting funding to basic regional programs.
“It’s cheap, it keeps kids safe, and the Department needs to come to the table and negotiate in good faith with local councils to find a sensible path forward.”