Council not satisfied with decision on school crossings

Published on 19 January 2017

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Northern Grampians Shire Council is maintaining its stance on school crossings following an announcement by the state government on funding arrangements for the service.

The state government announced last month that it would increase the current funding level to be in line with a 50-50 funding arrangement with Councils.

Mayor Cr Tony Driscoll said Council had exited the service over a year ago.

“We decided over 12 months ago that we would not continue to fund what is a state government service. The state government has funded crossings in our shire since then” Cr Driscoll said.

“The current funding level for local government is inadequate and the 3, 16, 81 campaign outlines that. This move is local government pushing state government responsibilities back to them to fund. With the rate cap set at 2% for the upcoming financial year all Council services will be under greater strain than ever and something has got to give.”

“Schools are the responsibility of the state government which makes crossings its responsibility. We do not believe that it is the role of local government to fund school crossings to any extent.”

Cr Driscoll said the state needed to look at the current school crossing model and its effectiveness.

“The model being used in Victoria was originally developed in 1970. A great deal has changed since then. Children are better educated on road safety, driver behaviour has improved, and the way in which our children are getting to and from school has changed.

“Other states have models which provide better service to the community with less funding. We believe our state government needs to reassess the whole school crossing system, not just the way it’s funded.

“The safety of our children is everyone’s responsibility and it extends far beyond the provision of school crossings. We all need to educate children and drivers about road safety, and take responsibility for our own actions when on the road, particularly around schools.”