KISS-N-GO KEEPING KIDDIES SAFER
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.