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Regional Victorian council wants to allow three-year-olds to ride public buses alone

A council in north-west Victoria wants to allow children as young as three to ride the public bus to kinder on their own.

Yarriambiack Shire Council is one of a number of councils which will have three-year-old kinder subsidised by the government from next year, and there are concerns some children may have problems accessing kindergartens.

“We’ve had situations where parents have put their four-year-old on the bus, and then the mother has travelled in with the three-year-old in the car fifteen minutes into town, behind the bus, to get to the kinder,” Gavin Blinman, from Yarriambiack Shire Council, told Tom Elliott.

“That’s what we’d like initially looked at, so that families have the ability to put their child on the bus with their siblings,” he said.

Mr Blinman said what is suitable in rural areas is different from what is okay in the city.

“Often the bus driver is the farmer that’s down the end of the road, who drives the bus in, along all the neighbouring properties, and then picks up children along the way,” he said.

Mr Blinman acknowledged that not all three-year-olds would be able to catch the bus alone.

“It’s always going to be the parent’s decision,” he said.

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