Preserve the safety of our children + livelihood of Great Ocean Road community bus driver

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Our community's school bus driver has recently lost the Victorian Government tender for the local school bus route contract, after 22 years of service, replaced by a larger business located more than 70km from our neighbourhood.

Bus driver and sole trader Roy Moriarty is a permanent resident and a loyal and very much respected member of the community of Wye River, adored for his commitment and service to the area. He was recognised for his volunteer service as the CFA captain in the devastating 2015 bushfires with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). For over 2 decades, Roy has been the trusted caretaker of our children on their daily and somewhat dangerous journey along the Great Ocean Road; from Kennett River, through Wye River and Separation Creek, over Mt. Defiance to the township of Lorne. This section of road is at high risk of falling rocks, land slide, bushfires, trucks, cyclists, roadworks, heavy international tourist and bus traffic and wildlife. 

Roy lost the tender earlier this year and was not provided with any feedback or chance for negotiation. The community was not consulted and it appears that significant environmental and local economical factors were not given adequate consideration. For instance, Roy buys fuel for and services his bus at local Lorne businesses. The new operator is based in a seperate regional town which will now retain these economical benefits.  This additional distance, combined with use of a much larger bus, will only increase the impact on the environment and the wear and tear on the already heavily trafficked Great Ocean Road. 

We implore the Honourable Minister to respond to our community's wishes and engage both Roy Moriarty and the new operator to negotiate an amendment to their contracts, re-instating Roy to his position as the community's school bus driver.