Date of Submission

4-2001

Abstract

This project documents the development of State Government funded transport assistance for students attending Queensland schools during the period 1906 to March 2001.

Although the project covers all major developments in transport assistance for State school students, its main purpose is to document the struggle for justice and equity in the provision of Government funded transport assistance for students attending non-State schools in Queensland. Particular emphasis is placed on the period 1976 to March 2001, as it was during this period that most developments occurred.

The earliest form of student travel assistance for school students was in the form of free rail travel for scholarship holders attending Grammar schools in Brisbane in 1906. Free rail travel had been extended to include primary and secondary students by 1920, however eligibility depended on students satisfying certain distance criteria. The earliest form of ferry assistance was introduced in 1924.

It took until 1945 for the Government to introduce free road travel for State primary school students. The Road Transport Services and licensed bus services conveyed distance eligible students, free of charge, to their nearest State primary school. It took until 1958 for free bus travel to be available for who attended State secondary students schools. In the same year, the Government introduced three difference classes of Conveyance Allowance to compensate families for the costs involved in transporting their children to State primary and secondary schools in remote areas where rail and bus services were not available.

The first breakthrough for non-State students occurred in 1977 when the Government agreed to allow school bus services to travel beyond what was referred to as the Base School, to any non-State schools within the same town. A Base School was a State school in the town. This benefit was only available if sufficient seating capacity was available on the bus service.

The first major breakthrough came in 1983, with the introduction of two new forms of Conveyance Allowance, classes D and E, especially for students attending non-State schools.

Following a bitter struggle between the Goss Labor Government and the non-State school sector in the early 1990’s, free rail travel on the Citytrain network was abolished in 1994 and was replaced by a user-pays principle. All students attending approves schools were eligible for subsidised rail travel.

In 1995 the Government introduced a Safety-Net scheme for financially disadvantaged students residing close to their nearest school. The Safety-Net scheme applied to students who were required to pay fares on privately operated bus services, Brisbane City Council busses and rail travel.

A special grant of $1m by the coalition government in 1997 provided a substantial boost to the level of bus travel assistance available to non-state students. The money enabled the “hotspots” scheme to be established for families who had children attending non-State schools outside the Brisbane Statistical Division. An additional $0.5, grant by the Beattie Labor Government in 1998 enabled the “hotspots” scheme to be expanded to include all non-State students at schools outside the Brisbane City Council boundary.

The success of the “hotspots” scheme led to a proposal for Queensland Transport to transfer responsibility for the administration of Conveyance Allowance classes D and E to the non-State sector. The Government has yet to make a decision on the proposal, however all initial indications are that the proposal will be approved in the second half of 2001.

The provision of transport assistance for students with disabilities attending State and/or non-State schools, has not been addressed in this project.

School/Institute

School of Educational Leadership

Document Type

Thesis

Access Rights

Open Access

Extent

138 pages

Degree Name

Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)

Faculty

Faculty of Education

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