Premier Carmen Lawrence today announced an expansion of the highly successful `Runaway Bus' service for young people in the South-West.
Dr Lawrence said the `Runaway Bus' provided low cost day-trips to Busselton, Yallingup or Smiths Beach and was fitted-out to carry surf boards and beach gear.
The Premier said the service would be expanded to include two lifesavers from the City of Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club who would remain on duty at Smiths Beach and Yallingup while bus passengers were there.
The surf lifesavers would have access to rescue and first-aid equipment.
"The introduction of the lifesavers will provide peace-of-mind for parents as well as a safer swimming and surfing environment for young people using the service," Dr Lawrence said.
"The `Runaway Bus' provides an inexpensive and enjoyable day out for young people, taking them to places on the coast where they can swim, surf and be involved in other beach activities.
"Access to the coast is a high priority for young people who live at a distance from the coast."
Dr Lawrence said the Lotteries Commission had contributed $27,000 to the project this summer.
The `Runaway Bus' service had been operating for five years and in the last three years buses from inland centres had linked into the Bunbury service.
More than 230 passengers from Collie had used the service last year and other South-West centres such as Bridgetown and Manjimup also had linked into the network.
The service would operate from the Bunbury bus station Monday to Friday from December 21 to January 29, excluding public holidays. The round trip would cost $4.00.