Fund­ing to im­prove com­mu­nity trans­port


HEATH­COTE’S pub­lic and com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices have re­ceived a boost from the state gov­ern­ment.

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes was in Heath­cote last week to an­nounce the in­vest­ment of more than $110,000 to make it eas­ier for lo­cals to get where they need to go.

Com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices are in high de­mand in Heath­cote but providers have re­ported that train­ing and re­cruit­ing a suf­fi­cient num­ber of vol­un­teers is a chal­lenge.

Heath­cote Health will re­ceive $65,000 to boost the ca­pa­bil­ity and num­ber of vol­un­teer com­mu­nity trans­port driv­ers, while Ad­vance Heath­cote will be pro­vided with $45,000 to help ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity about lo­cal trans­port op­tions so they can at­tend ap­point­ments and par­tic­i­pate fully in their com­mu­nity.

The fund­ing will be used to de­velop a stan­dard­ised train­ing pack and on­board­ing process to sup­port vol­un­teer driv­ers for com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices. This im­proved train­ing will help boost vol­un­teer ex­pe­ri­ence and pave the way for an ex­pan­sion of com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices in Heath­cote.

“This is an­other fan­tas­tic re­sult fol­low­ing the gov­ern­ment’s ex­pan­sion of pub­lic bus ser­vices in Heath­cote ear­lier this year,” Ms Symes said.

“Com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices are vi­tal to help our coun­try com­mu­ni­ties stay in­volved with their com­mu­nity and ac­cess ser­vices.

“La­bor is paving the way for an ex­pan­sion of com­mu­nity trans­port ser­vices in Heath­cote with ex­tra fund­ing to train and re­cruit vol­un­teers and raise com­mu­nity aware­ness about all of the lo­cal trans­port op­tions.”

The La­bor can­di­date for Euroa, Fionna Dep­peler-Mor­ton, wel­comed the fund­ing.

“The An­drews La­bor gov­ern­ment in­vest­ing in flex­i­ble and tai­lored trans­port tri­als and ser­vices in Heath­cote is a great win for our lo­cal com­mu­nity,” she said.

Ad­vance Heath­cote will de­velop de­tailed brochures about the trans­port op­tions avail­able in the town and re­cruit and train vol­un­teer travel cham­pi­ons to pro­mote the ser­vices.

Some fund­ing will also be used to in­stall seats at ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tions, sig­nage and other small-scale in­fra­struc­ture to pro­vide a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence for pas­sen­gers.

Both pro­jects will help grow the num­ber of vol­un­teers and driv­ers sup­port­ing com­mu­nity and pub­lic trans­port in the re­gion.

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