By Anhar Al-Shameri, a member of the YMCA Youth Press Gallery
A GROUP of Wellington Shire students are one step closer to improving public transport accessibility in regional areas, after successfully passing their bill at the 2019 YMCA Youth Parliament.
In the Legislative Council of Parliament House, the team of six young people proposed altering current regional school bus routes in Victoria to enable people to use current regional school buses for public use.
The bill hopes to address the lack of public transport in regional Victoria, and make regional areas more accessible.
The team believes the lack of public transport is limiting to those living in regional areas, and by increasing accessibility in regional areas, there would be significant economic benefits.
Student Lucy Capurso said an update to public transport systems in regional Victoria was necessary to provide equal opportunities to all Victorians.
Fellow team member Ivan Reyes-Eames added it would increase education and job opportunities for residents in regional Victoria.
“It will also help many towns to increase their economic growth,” Mr Reyes-Eames said.
“It would reduce the need for individuals to drive their cars, leading to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Capurso said.
The bill will be passed onto the relevant government minister for consideration.
In the program’s 33-year history, more than 30 bills have gone on to become Victorian legislation.
This article originally appeared on the Gippsland Times, June 9, 2019.