At the Maroondah Council meeting of the 6th of February I presented a petition from residents seeking a continuation of the walking school bus program. The petition and the rationale behind the Walking School Bus program was reported in the Maroondah Journal:
PARENTS have lodged a petition asking Maroondah Council to review its commitment to the Walking School Bus program.
The program ended in December after a change to the funding model. For the program to continue, the council would have to pledge $9000 a year during the next three years.
Lead petitioner Kerryn Gosbell said the program had important economic, social, community and environmental aspects.
“I have three kids. I want them to be fit and healthy and to know that being in a car is not the only mode of transport because they get driven everywhere,” she said. “If we can’t give that to kids then how do we build our community?”
Maroondah councillor Alex Makin spoke in support of the Walking School Bus Program last week. He said the $9000 to reinstate the program was a “negligible amount” when weighed against the benefits it provides to children.
Council officers will now prepare a report into the continuation of the Walking School Bus program. This report will then return to council, where a resolution supported by a majority of councillors (at least four) will be required to ensure that the program continues.