Youth Education Public Transport | March 13, 2020

Common sense finally prevails with V-Line bus service

The Andrews Labor Government has finally bowed to community pressure and amended V-Line bus services between Horsham, Stawell and Ararat to allow students to access vocational and education training (VET) courses in Horsham.

The decision to implement the trial until the end of the year comes after months of lobbying by the Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN has been advocating for an extension of one daily V/Line bus service between Ararat and Horsham by one hour every Wednesday to enable up to 55 Ararat and Stawell students access to 15 VET courses in Horsham.

The cost of extending the service will be largely, if not wholly, covered by the fares of the 45-50 students who are expected to use the service.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy has actively supported the request through letters to the Minister for Public Transport and The Premier.

“The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN has proposed a practical solution that will address a major barrier for Ararat and Stawell students wishing to broaden their educational opportunities, but not surprisingly, the request had continually been refused by Labor,” Ms Kealy said.

“If the extension had not be granted, we would have had the ludicrous situation of a chartered bus full of students following the empty V-Line bus down the highway from Ararat to Horsham every Wednesday, an unacceptable waste of public funds.

“The decision by V-Line to extend the Wednesday service by one hour as a trial until the end of the year is great news and a common-sense, self-funding, practical solution to the challenges facing Stawell Secondary and Ararat Colleges in offering a comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of their students.

“I have been proud to support the Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN to achieve this practical and logical outcome.”

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