Under a Labor State Government, school children will be able to enjoy free travel on public transport, focusing on putting the family budget first.
Shadow Minister for Transport, Jodi McKay made the announcement at Charlestown Interchange today alongside State Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison; State Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp and State Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery.
Official department forecasts obtained under freedom of information laws reveal that the Berejiklian Government is set to charge children $44 million in transport fares in 2019-20.
Labor’s Fair Fares policy will forego this revenue to abolish all charges for children under 16 years of age or while they remain at school.
Ms McKay was told of how the Government continues to refuse to issue young children with subsidised school bus passes despite siblings having been granted one.
Jason Brown was appalled this year when he was told that his eight year old daughter would have to walk a long, dangerous route to get to school – the same route his son had been granted a pass to avoid, three years earlier.
Under the current rules primary school-aged children are eligible for free travel only when travelling to and from school, and if their home is more than 2.3 kilometres away by walking, rising to 2.9 kilometres for secondary school-aged children.
Labor’s Fair Fares policy recognises these restrictive and arbitrary conditions make it harder for families, or those participating in after school or weekend sport.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay
“Children shouldn’t be penalised by being forced to walk to school across busy roads because they don’t fit into some arbitrary prescriptive rule. Labor’s policy directly addresses that and puts children and families first.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison
Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp
“This Government’s priorities are all wrong. How could they think that saving money is more important than putting children’s safety in danger?”
“This is just another way Labor will ease the cost of living for families in Newcastle.”
“The difference is clear Labor will prioritise easing the cost of living for families, the Liberals are prioritising $2.2 billion on Sydney stadiums.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery