Govt blocks Greens calls for seat belts on school bus
UPDATE: THE State Government has stymied the Greens' attempts to debate the immediate need for seat belts on school buses in State Parliament today.
Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has broken her promise to parents, after State Parliament voted against urgency on the Greens' seatbelt bill.
Ms Faehrmann sought to bring on debate on the long overdue reform, but it was voted against by the Coalition majority supported by Labor.
"It's outrageous that the government doesn't consider this urgent," Ms Faehrmann said.
"I am going to give them another opportunity to support this long overdue reform next month.
"I think they have underestimated how important this is to parents across NSW.
THURSDAY, 5PM: THE Greens will today attempt to bring forward debate on the compulsory introduction of seat belts on school buses in State Parliament.
Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann will argue the matter is urgent and deserves the attention of the parliament after what she calls years of delays from government.
The Greens bill has won the support of concerned parents and school principals on the Coffs Coast, who for years have campaigned for new regulations for school buses travelling on the Pacific Highway.
"It's time the government showed their hand on this issue," Ms Faehrmann said.
"They've delayed for far too long.
"They have a fully costed solution before them and there is no excuse not to act right now."
If passed the bill will see the key recommendations of the government's own School Bus Safety Advisory Committee become law.
The Greens have proposed an amendment to the recommendations calling for the legislation to be introduced in five years instead of the suggested 10-year time-frame.
The proposals would prohibit students standing in aisles when buses travel on unsealed roads or roads with speed limits of 80km/h or higher.
It would implement a phased program where 68 compliant buses are fitted with seatbelts in regional areas and would cost an estimated $15 million in the first year, rising to $55 million thereafter.