The Federal Labor Government will provide $4.0 million to extend the Seatbelts on Regional School Buses program for another four years, as part of our commitment to make our regional and rural roads safer for all Australians.
The Seatbelts on Regional School Buses program is about increasing the number of school buses equipped with seatbelts for students in rural and regional communities, where buses travel on routes that may be hazardous or involve high speeds.
We will provide eligible bus operators with up to $25,000 for every bus to help cover the cost of installing seatbelts.
The Government has already delivered funding to fit out more than 280 buses with seat belts under the program, and this additional $4.0 million means that many more rural and regional bus operators will have the opportunity to secure funding.
We encourage local schools and communities to get behind this program and urge their local bus operators to apply for funding once applications are called.
School bus safety is one of the priority areas identified for attention in the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 and this program is one way we are working to address this issue.
Applications for the next round of Seatbelts on Regional School Buses are expected to open in July this year.