Piccoli must have known that children with disabilities would be left stranded
Disabled parking sign
"A letter was sent by email from the Member for Auburn to Minister Piccoli on Monday the 23rd of January on behalf of the parents of a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who was unable to get to school," said Opposition Leader John Robertson today.
Robertson says that the email proves Minister for Education has knew that disabled children may be left stranded earlier than he has admitted.
"The email and attached letter clearly outlined that parents of children with disabilities were being told by the Education Department that transport may not be confirmed in time for the first day back at school. The Member for Auburn asked the Minister to address the concerns of the parents involved and asked 'what is happening to other children in similar situations?' It beggars belief that Labor MPs were being contacted by concerned constituents but the Minister's office 'knew nothing about it', said John Robertson today accusing the O'Farrell government of unnecessarlity putting families 'through hell'.
Robertson said the families of the affected children have inundated his office with calls and his office today provided the personal stories of some of those affected.
Boy, 16, Raymond Terrace This child is confined to a motorised wheelchair and his conditions include muscular disorder, respiratory issues, asthma and type 1 Diabetes. His father is a distraught pensioner who cannot afford a car with wheelchair access to get his son to school. He is in despair over when the ordeal will end.
Boy, 10, Beverly Hills Child diagnosed with severe autism and ADHD. After years of relying on Assisted School Travel, the family was told on Friday they would have to make other arrangements. The family has been thrown into chaos; mum works a casual job and was forced to take Monday off, unpaid, to take her son to school; Dad started a new job this week and their second child started high school on Monday. Mum says it is just too much.
Sisters, 16 and 14, Aberglasslyn Both sisters were born with Down Syndrome. They were stranded at home on Monday with no transport to get to school. Their mother will attempt to take them to work with her on Tuesday but she thinks this may be unfeasible. She has been informed school transport is unlikely all week.
Boy, 13, Ashbury This child is vision impaired and has an intellectual disability. He is starting at a new school this week and his father took a couple of days of work to settle him in. With Dad going back to work on Thursday, they have been told by the Education Department to 'put him in a taxi'. Dad believes this is unsafe, irresponsible and would cost the family hundreds of dollars.
Boy, 13, Maitland Suffers ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and can't get to school which is 15km away. His parents also have restricted mobility. They are still waiting to hear from the Education Department regarding transport.
Boy, 10, Merrylands Child diagnosed with severe ADHD and ADD. The child's grandmother is extremely ill and requires constant care from the child's mother. Mum says it has always been tough but this week with no transport for her son, her second child, aged 5, starting kindergarten, and her mother unwell – they are at breaking point. She has been told it will be at least a week before the problem is fixed.
Boy, 8, Maitland This child has Down Syndrome and ADHD. Mum found out on weekend there would be no transport available. She is relying on a friend for the school drop off but is worried this cannot continue indefinitely.
Boy, 8, Aberglasslyn He is one of three children and has been diagnosed with autism. His two siblings go to a different school; forcing their father, who has work commitments, to choose which will get dropped off on time while other is late.
Have you been affected by the suspension of transport for your child? Should the Government be providing alternative transport until the issues are resolved?
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