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Bus dispute undermines efforts to close the education gap

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 27 Nov 2013

The Australian Greens said today that it is unbelievable that the Federal and NT Governments are fighting over who funds transport to get kids school, while at the same time considering spending millions of dollars on truancy officers.

"This is a ludicrous situation, apparently the Federal and NT Governments are in dispute about the future of school transport for town camps in the NT. I would have thought it was a no-brainer that you need to provide transport in order to ensure attendance at school," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.

"How can we have talk of a ‘truancy army' to improve school attendance, when something as fundamental as school bus services are in doubt?

"With 16 schools set to be affected by this cut, we need a better response than a series of blame games between governments.

"MPs needs to be talking about education in the NT, but rather than arguing about bus routes, they should be focusing on investments in areas such as bilingual education, a stronger focus on language and culture in schooling, parent liaison officers and parent support groups. These are all important areas for helping kids get the most out of their time at school and build strong connections between their families and the school.

"The Federal and NT Governments need to get together and resolve this issue as soon as possible, so parents and schools know where they stand," Senator Siewert concluded.


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