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Tennant Creek's first dedicated school bus to commence next term

Giovanni Torre -

Hundreds of students in the Barkly region, NT, will have an easier journey to school next year with a dedicated school bus service started on the first day of Term 1.

It is the first dedicated school bus transport service in the township of Tennant Creek.

There are currently 378 students enrolled at Tennant Primary and 147 at Tennant Creek High School.

The Territory government said in a statement on Tuesday that the implementation of the bus service aims to get more children to school "each and every day" by helping to overcome the challenge posed by distances students must travel to attend.

The dedicated school buses will be operated by CDC Northern Territory and cover the Greater Tennant Creek area, transferring students across four routes, twice a day, to and from Tennant Creek Primary and Tennant Creek High School.

The government said it recognised the particular educational needs of isolated families, and that it continues to "establish support mechanisms to overcome barriers faced here in the Territory".

Tennant Creek will be the ninth region to receive a dedicated bus service. The fleet will consist of four new 30-seat buses, driven by six local drivers who are being offered a $1000 sign on bonus if qualified.

Northern Territory Council Of Government School Organisations (NT COGSO) President Tabby Fudge said the announcement "highlights the Minister's dedication to helping our children and young adults attend school regularly".

"Our children face unique geographical and social challenges, and the launch of Tennant Creek's first dedicated school bus service is a significant step in breaking down these barriers," she said.

"I extend my gratitude to Wayne Green, our NTCOGSO Barkly regional representative, who has been a steadfast advocate for this service, and we're all thrilled to witness it become a reality."

NT Minister for Education Eva Lawler said the service would tackle "an important barrier broken down to ensure each child, no matter where they live, goes to school every day".

"Tennant Creek Primary and High School do an incredible job providing a high level of education to student's from right across the Barkly region," she said.

"As this is the first ever dedicated school bus service in Tennant Creek, we are confident we will see increases in student attendance and enrolments, whilst additionally creating more jobs and long term employment across the region."

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