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Hawker welcomes funding to protect young lives on school buses.



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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au W www.davidhawker.com.au

19 September 2007

HAWKER WELCOMES FUNDING TO PROTECT YOUNG LIVES ON SCHOOL BUSES

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, today welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will spend $40 million over four years to fit seat belts to school buses in rural and regional areas.

“The Coalition Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our children - particularly when it comes to travelling to and from school,” Mr Hawker said.

“This new initiative will fit at least 1,500 rural and regional school buses across Australia over the next four years, including local buses in Western Victoria.”

Mr Hawker said the new initiative will provide subsidies for rural and regional private bus route operators of up to $25,000 per new or retrofitted bus, which will be paid directly to them on an application basis.

“Ensuring that seat belts are fitted to school buses is firmly a state and territory responsibility, however the Victorian Government has failed to deliver.

“Safety for children on school buses is paramount and I strongly welcome this initiative”, Mr Hawker said.

The Australian Government will still expect the Victorian State Government to take measures to fit their own school bus fleets with seat belts.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4006