Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Ryan Park, has called on the Government to fix a loophole that prevents students travelling from school to anywhere other than their primary home address free of charge under the Student Opal Card.
Under the Baird Government’s School Opal Card, students will only be covered to travel from home to school to home, not to any other locations after school.
Mr Park has expressed his considerable concern at how parents will be forced to fork out for other trips, such as the child going to their grandparents’ house for after school care.
In the lead up to school going back from summer holidays, Mr Park is calling on the Government to re-consider this element of the School Opal Policy. He has called on the Government to extend the approved trips from the simple Home – School – Home model.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Ryan Park:
“Under this policy, a student travelling from school to their grandparents or a
family friends place for after school care would be forced to pay for a ticket and this
needs to be fixed as the electronic system is rolled out,” he said.
“Parents are working harder than ever just to put food on the table. We don’t need to be slugging working parents who are forced to rely on help to look after their children out of school hours,” he said.
“The reality is that with most parents working, grandparents are taking up a greater role in childcare. Students should be allowed to travel for free to more than one address on their Opal Card,” he said.
“The Government has rushed the Opal Card system, and not thought about the impact it has on working parents in New South Wales. The Government claims it wants to increase public transport patronage, but this policy flies in the face of such an aim,” he said.