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COL­LECT­ING the kids from Can­non­vale State School has just be­come safer thanks to the ef­forts of the P&C and Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil.

P&C vice-pres­i­dent Tina Everett said they had been want­ing a so­lu­tion for the past three years to the prob­lem of peo­ple park­ing out in front and, fi­nally, their calls have been an­swered with a kiss-and-go zone and bol­lards.

Last week, Ms Everett met with coun­cil at the site and “that af­ter­noon we had the tem­po­rary bol­lards”.

“We’re jump­ing for joy that af­ter al­most three years we fi­nally have a kissand-go zone,” she said.

P&C pres­i­dent Mandy Ben­nett said the po­lice had even no­ticed the is­sue prior to the re­cent mea­sures.

“We were con­tacted by the po­lice and they said ‘this is lu­di­crous, what’s go­ing on here? We’ve seen some re­ally dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour’,” she said.

The P&C then en­listed their help, email­ing 15 coun­cil­lors and of­fi­cials.

Prin­ci­pal Angie Kelly said this had been an is­sue when she joined the school three years ago and it was great to see safety im­prove.

“And cer­tainly we know this year com­ing back, that the growth of about 60–70 kids has def­i­nitely high­lighted how dan­ger­ous it is,” she said.

“And that’s why we’re ab­so­lutely thrilled about what Tina’s done and in turn what coun­cil has done in re­act­ing so quickly to our con­cerns.”

But can­di­date for Divi­sion 1 Mark Yore is unim­pressed with the “tem­po­rary” bol­lards.

“Sub­ject to trans­port con­sid­er­a­tions, I’m fully in favour of it,” he said.

“Be­cause if the com­mu­nity feels that they need it, then the ques­tion I have is why were there only tem­po­rary pro­vi­sions put in place? This is one of those things where you ei­ther do it or you don’t.”

Mr Yore said this wasn’t the first time he felt a bandaid had been used.

Fel­low Divi­sion 1 can­di­date Michelle Lynes said she felt “very strongly” about the is­sue and had been dis­cussing ad­just­ing the traf­fic lights on Shute Har­bour Rd with Ms Everett.

“What we were talk­ing about was tak­ing to the State Govern­ment the is­sue of the lights near Banjo’s,” she said.

“And when the chil­dren go to school and come home from school, the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing the traf­fic slow down dur­ing those school hours to 40km.”

Ms Lynes also had a ques­tion for the cur­rent coun­cil.

“The P&C has had this on the coun­cil agenda be­fore so why would it take an email from Tina and the P&C to about 15 dif­fer­ent peo­ple try­ing to get at­ten­tion for this is­sue when it’s been tabled be­fore?” she asked.

“This to me smacks of ‘there’s an elec­tion com­ing up, we need to do some­thing about this now’.”

In­cum­bent coun­cil­lor Jan Clifford said she and mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney had been work­ing closely with the school.

“We’ve put up tem­po­rary bol­lards as a stop-gap mea­sure to keep peo­ple off the grass,” she said.

Cr Clifford said the en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment hadn’t yet de­cided on a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion “but per­ma­nent bol­lards would be a good op­tion”.

The coun­cil­lor also said the drop-off area would soon be re­zoned to make it a 30 se­cond stop­ping area, as op­posed to the cur­rent five minute limit.

In the mean­time how­ever Ms Kelly said staff had been trained in how the kiss-and-go would work, with the whole school to be ed­u­cated on Mon­day.

“And then the fol­low­ing week our hope is to work with the par­ents,” she said.

Par­ents will be given a printed card car­ry­ing their sur­name to be fixed to their sun vi­sor and six cars will use the stop at a time, with a teacher di­rect­ing the right kids to move to their par­ent’s car.

“If it solves the prob­lems we have at Can­non­vale, then I’d say we’re ready to leave it at that,” Ms Kelly said.

“If we find that struc­ture still isn’t sound and it’s still not safe, then we’ll start to go back and work with coun­cil and Main Roads to find a more per­ma­nent so­lu­tion.” Ms Ben­nett said it would be ideal to get the cross­ing zone, which cur­rently stops be­fore Co­ral Es­planade, ex­tended all the way across.

“Be­cause po­lice stated that (the cur­rent cross­ing) just means it’s a shared zone,” she said.

“Whereas we pre­dom­i­nant- ly need it to be a cross­ing.

“It needs to have the big, thick white lines from the school to the other side.”

Cr Clifford said Co­ral Es­planade was a Main Roads road, and she would be look­ing into a lol­lipop per­son to ser­vice the drop-off slip­way owned by coun­cil.

Ms Ben­net added “the su­per bonus” would be to have ex­tra car park­ing across the road.

“So those who do have lit­tle ones and have (to walk them into school), can park over there,” she said.

SAFE TRAV­ELS: Prin­ci­pal Angie Kelly makes sure her stu­dents make it safely across the road.

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