Bus decision welcomed

THE State Government’s decision to remove means testing for student bus subsidies has been welcomed.

The government had previously announced the Bus Conveyance Allowance would be means tested, meaning hundreds of families would need to pay more to use bus services.

Education Minister Martin Dixon announced the change to reverse the decision had been made after representations from various groups about the unintended consequences of the proposed 2013 changes.

Catholic Diocese of Sale director of education Maria Kirkwood said the government had listened to the concerns of Catholic education and affected parents.

“Many of our Catholic schools are in some of the state’s most disadvantaged areas and means testing of the bus conveyance allowance was likely to cause financial stress to many regional families, who would be relieved to hear the minister’s announcement,” she said.

Ms Kirkwood said changes to the urban growth boundaries to include schools in the western end of the diocese meant that in future the allowances would be affected.

She understood students who currently received an allowance would continue under a “grandfathering clause”, but students changing schools might not be eligible.