Paige Dosser Transport Assistance

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Education and concerns the transportation to school of a constituent of mine, Paige Dosser. The action I seek from the minister is that he assist Paige and her family in securing transportation to Glenallen School in Glen Waverley.

Paige is a lovely young woman who unfortunately suffers from Rett syndrome, a severe genetic disorder of the nervous system. Recently Paige has also begun to suffer from seizures. Up until this year Paige had been provided with transportation to Glenallen School from her home each day. Unfortunately Paige’s parents were informed in November of last year that as Paige lived just a few hundred metres outside the designated transport area, she would no longer be provided with transportation. Paige’s parents and teachers were quite rightly shocked, as Paige had been provided with transportation for the past four years without incident.

The principal of Glenallen School, Mrs Elizabeth Green, immediately appealed the decision as she knew how important this service is to the Dosser family. Mrs Green’s appeal was rejected and the Dossers were advised that Paige’s transportation would cease on 23 April of this year. Seeking answers, they contacted the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and were advised that their only alternative was to drop Paige off each morning at the residence of a student who lives within the designated
transport area. Such a solution is not practical or acceptable for the Dosser family as Paige is severely disabled and has two siblings who need to be dropped off and picked up from school each day. Life is very busy for the Dosser family.

The Dossers quickly began to feel the strain of this arrangement and contacted my office seeking assistance. Seeing the distress and anxiety this situation was causing the Dossers, I wrote to the minister on two separate occasions.

Unfortunately on both occasions the minister responded by advising that as Paige lived outside the designated transport area she was ineligible for transport and would need to continue to be picked up and dropped off at a schoolmate’s house. This solution, or ‘concession’ as the minister referred to it, is just not working. Paige’s parents have told me that they are often left waiting up to half an hour or more for the bus to arrive
each morning and afternoon. Their lives have been completely disrupted, and they do not understand why their daughter is being treated in such an unsympathetic manner. All they want is to ensure that their daughter is able to receive a quality education. As Andrew, Paige’s father, said:

There comes a time when compassion and common sense must overrule a bureaucratic decision, as the resumption of this service which has been provided for the past four years would pose a miniscule cost to the overall bus trip.

Common sense must prevail, and Paige’s transport assistance should be immediately reinstated. Paige and her family deserve better. This is a callous and stupid decision, and I ask the minister to reinstate Paige’s transport assistance immediately.