John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Funding commitment backs up school bus seatbelt pledge

    21/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The Gallop Government has allocated a provisional sum of $87million for the installation and retrofitting of seatbelts on all Western Australian school buses.

    Acting Planning and Infrastructure Minister John Bowler said provision had been made in the mid-year Budget review for the estimated cost of installing or retrofitting seatbelts on all orange school buses.

    “This figure reflects our best current estimate of the cost of having seatbelts on all school buses by the end of 2010,” Mr Bowler said.

    “Today’s funding commitment will see WA lead the nation in ensuring school buses are equipped with seatbelts - providing peace of mind to parents and the wider community.”

    An implementation plan for the State’s 779 orange school bus fleet will be released within the next few weeks.

    The final cost and timeframe will be known in March 2006, when tender processes for the retrofitting task and supply of seats for the orange school bus fleet are concluded.

    “At this stage we will be able to confirm industry capacity to meet a 2010 target and that costings are based on a market price for installation which reflects available economies of scale,” Mr Bowler said.

    “The allocation of provisional funding means that when the implementation plan is released and industry capacity confirmed, the money will be ready to get on with this vital project.”

    Last month, Premier Geoff Gallop announced that all new school buses would require seatbelts and the existing fleet would be retrofitted on a priority basis.

    The State Government had re-examined the need for seatbelts on school buses following a school bus crash in Baldivis on October 21, where seatbelts were attributed with minimising the extent and number of student injuries.

    Planning and Infrastructure Minister's office: 9213 6400