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Farmers Welcome School Transport Boost

21 July 2005 PR 105 (2005)

Farmers Welcome School Transport Boost

Federated Farmers has welcomed a funding boost for school transport, said Charlie Pedersen, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

The government has decided to increase funding to all "directly resourced" schools by 10 percent, equivalent to an extra $7.8 million over four years. Around a quarter of all school transport, such as buses and coaches, is provided through the direct resourcing scheme.

The Federation also congratulated the Government for putting on hold proposed changes to school transport policy.

"The proposed changes would have reduced rural access to a choice of education providers," Mr Pedersen said.

The financial boost for transport providers was very important and Mr Pedersen hoped the funds will be allocated equitably

"However, there remains an urgent need to raise transport assistance for rural families. There has been no change in funding for families (where there is no school transport available) since 1994, despite spiralling transport costs in the past 11 years.

"School transport support is critical for ensuring that rural communities can continue to attract and retain employees and overcome some of the barriers to accessing education," Mr Pedersen said.

ENDS


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