State MP Kate Washington launches online school safety survey

SCHOOL SAFETY: Kate Washington and Jo Haylen with school parents at the crossing outisde Wirreanda Public School on Monday. Picture: Supplied
SCHOOL SAFETY: Kate Washington and Jo Haylen with school parents at the crossing outisde Wirreanda Public School on Monday. Picture: Supplied

State MP Kate Washington has launched an online survey in response to safety concerns for Port Stephens children who walk or ride to school.

Appearing alongside Shadow Transport Minister Jo Haylen outside of Medowie's Wirreanda Public School last week, Ms Washington hoped the school safety survey would highlight the fears some children face while travelling on the Port's roads to and from schools.

"The survey is open to parents, carers, teachers and residents, and invites people to provide feedback and report concerns about safety for families and students that walk or ride to school," Ms Washington said.

"It is hoped that the feedback and ideas will help me advocate for safety changes with the state government and the council. Across Port Stephens, we have entire communities relying on cars and buses to get children to and from school every day. Parents want safer options for their children."

Ms Washington said it was an issue that's raised frequently by parents and students. "Last year I met with St Phillips' school leaders who raised this as their number one area of concern - kids want to ride or walk to school, but only if it's safe."

Ms Haylen said it would not come as a surprise to most parents or carers that of the million or so school students travelling to and from school every day, only 30 per cent will get there by walking or riding, compared to 75 per cent 40 years ago.

"Parents know the health benefits of their kids walking or riding to school and they know it helps beat congestion on our roads, but many believe it's just not safe for them to do so. This survey will help make it clear where improvements can be made and where we can get our kids and local communities moving again."

The Port Stephens School Safety Survey can be completed online at nswschoolsafety.com/portstephens and closes on March 13, 2020.

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