11 November 2008

Member for Lismore, Thomas George, said that families on the Northern Rivers and in the Murwillumbah area must not be hit by the State Labor Government’s planned cuts to the school transport scheme and Back to School Allowance.

Free school travel for almost 700,000 students across NSW will be axed in a huge blow for struggling families, with speculation parents will be forced to pay almost $400 a year to transport each child to and from school.

The School Student Transport Scheme has been in place since 1968. The Rees Labor Government has also axed the $50 Back to School Allowance.

“Nathan Rees must ensure that his planned budget cuts to student travel and the Back to School Allowance do not impact negatively on parents and students on the Northern Rivers and Tweed regions,” Mr George said.

“Subsidising student transport has been in place since 1968 and been an accepted practice by State Governments from both sides of politics.

“Only this current State Labor Government, after 13 years of financial mismanagement, has found it necessary to take an axe to the scheme.

“Families in my Lismore electorate, who are already struggling to pay bills, will be hit hardest if the State Government follows through with its plans to axe this vital service, as well as cutting the Back to School Allowance.

“The State Labor Government needs to hear the message from the Northern Rivers and Murwillumbah communities that cuts to education programs are just not on.”

“Premier Rees has placed funding events such as the Mardi Gras and the V8 Super Cars and the search for the elusive panther in Western Sydney as a priority over the education needs of children across NSW.

“As we lead into Christmas families shouldn’t have to be worrying about the impacts of the State Labor Government’s cuts to education.

“Nathan Rees and Eric Roozendaal must quarantine the Northern Rivers and Murwillumbah regions from any cuts to the student transport scheme,” Mr George said.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.