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It costs to cross safely

Photo – www.startsat60.com
Photo – www.startsat60.com

By Kate Taylor

School crossing supervisors will continue in Moorabool, but there may be a new road to funding.

Currently, the supervisor program is paid for by a 50/50 split between Moorabool Shire Council and the state government – and despite the program having been in place in Victoria for more than 40 years, there is no legislated compulsion for councils to provide the service.

Moorabool Council CEO Rob Croxford told the Moorabool News the funding balance of the service.

“Last year we spent $224,000 on the school crossing program against a grant of $51,000.  This year the grant more than doubles to $111,309 and we are forecasting to spend just under $235,000 in expenses in the current financial year. This variance is a vast improvement on previous years and we will continue to work with VicRoads to refine the model of costs versus grants,” Mr Croxford said.

The state government is, however, in the process of reviewing the program and the December 6 council meeting saw a number of resolutions aimed at securing any long-term funding that may be a result of the review.

Currently, council pays supervisors for crossings at Darley, Pentland, Bacchus Marsh College, St Bernard’s, Bacchus Marsh, St Brigid’s and Ballan primary schools, often with multiple crossings per school.

Councillors resolved to complete new traffic and pedestrian counts this year at all Moorabool schools to see if any additional schools should be added to the current program.

Council will also review more generally the program once the state government’s review has been completed next year and findings released.