Students at Bacchus Marsh Grammar Stung by Baillieu Budget Cuts

Schools in Melbourne’s western suburbs are still struggling under the weight of the Baillieu Government’s $555 million cuts to education, Shadow Education Minister James Merlino said today.

Mr Merlino visited Bacchus Marsh Grammar School, alongside local members Don Nardella and Tim Pallas, to discuss the impact of changes to eligibility for the conveyance allowance.

“The Baillieu Government has taken the axe to the conveyance allowance, which will restrict students’ access to school buses,” Mr Merlino said.

“The changes to the conveyance allowance will hit students in these growth areas extra hard.

“The restrictions being placed on the conveyance allowance are just another mean-spirited decision that is hurting families across the fast growing western suburbs.

“As a result, there will be students who will spend hours each day trying to get from home to school and back again.

“One child from Bacchus Marsh Grammar, who has a learning difficulty, will see their commute time blow out from 35 minutes to well over 2 hours.

“The Minister simply shrugs off these stories – but the anger amongst the parents is palpable.”

Member for Melton Don Nardella said the Baillieu Government had neglected families in the West.

“For the last two years, the community here in Melton have been treated as second class citizens by the Baillieu Government,” Mr Nardella said.

“These changes to the conveyance allowance mean that some students will spend longer trying to get to and from school than actually sitting in class.

“The Baillieu Government refuses to acknowledge the farcical situation they have created, but the school is concerned that it will affect enrolments.”

Member for Tarneit Tim Pallas said just getting their child to school was going to be either expensive or difficult for local parents.

“Either because of the massive inconvenience or increased travel costs, there would be many parents that will send their child somewhere else next year,” Mr Pallas said.

“Either way, it’s clear that education in Melbourne’s west is going backwards under Baillieu.”