Permits and passes will be checked on buses during school commute

By Alex Gretgrix

ALL aboard — but be prepared for the long haul.

Students are facing long waits on school buses as they attempt to cross the Victoria-NSW border.

St Mary's Primary School principal Brendan Atley said information given to the school from the NSW Government was not clear.

“We have received very little information on bus expectations,” he said.

“Bus drivers seemed unaware and were only informed on Monday they were in fact to check permits before children boarded.

“NSW bus drivers are reporting children were getting home one to 1.5 hours later than they normally would.”

Because of this, the school is planning to change its schedule for the end of the day.

“We now need to look at adjusting end-of-the-day procedures to ensure all these children have accessed toilets prior to travelling,” Mr Atley said.

Schools such as St Joseph's College and Moama Anglican Grammar have been told their students will need a permit that will be checked numerous times before getting to school.

“We have been in touch with both Victoria and NSW Police recently and the NSW Police Inspector in charge of the Echuca-Moama border point gave us some insight into how it will work for students,” St Joseph's College principal Michael Delaney said.

Principals have been told bus drivers will be instructed to only allow students coming from NSW to Victoria on to the buses if the student has both a bus pass and a border crossing permit.

“While school bus services will continue as normal, there will be delays expected crossing from Echuca to Moama due to the border closure,” Moama Anglican Grammar principal Carmel Spry said in a letter to parents and families.

“School students traveling by bus must show their bus pass and printed permit to the bus driver when they board the bus.

“At the border crossing, a police officer will board the bus and check each student's bus pass and permit.”

Students travelling from Victoria to NSW are asked to do the same and will go through the same process to get over the border.

Moama Anglican Grammar has also informed parents students will need to be careful when leaving the "border bubble".

"We have been advised any student who has travelled out of the community ‘bubble’ of 50km into any part of Victoria after the border closed needs to isolate for 14 days,” Ms Spry said.

"I understand the information from Victoria and NSW is different and that some students attend sport or other activities in areas outside this community area.

"It is important parents check the information from NSW Health and NSW Services to establish how these activities impact their access to NSW."