Poor transport means bereaved miss out

GRIEVING families are said to be missing out on free counselling because of inadequate public transport.
Now Kusum Wijeyasinghe from the Buddhist Sri Lankan Association of Victoria’s Dhamma Sarana temple in Keysborough is calling for a bus service to Greens Road.
She said many elderly people who visited the temple for counselling and meditation usually relied on public transport to get around, but had to depend on friends or family to get to the area.
“They can only get there if someone gives them a lift,” she said.
“We give free counselling following a death in the family.
“They could miss out.”
Ms Wijeyasinghe said it was too far for people to walk from existing bus stops and taxis were too expensive.
“Some people with disabilities have taxi cards but most of them don’t,” she said.
“On a pension it’s hard.”
She said about 50 people who accessed the temple would regularly use a bus service between central Keysborough and Dandenong via Perry, Greens and Hammond roads.
“People can reach Dandenong without any difficulty,” she said.
“The gap is between Keysborough and Greens Road.”
She said service could be incorporated into existing bus routes and provide transport for people in new estates on Greens and Perry roads, including school children.
“The population is increasing now off Perry Road,” Ms Wijeyasinghe said.
“There’s a rapid growth in that area.”
This latest plea followed calls in February for public transport to service new housing estates in Keysborough and revelations that some children were walking half an hour to reach a bus stop to get to school.
City of Greater Dandenong engineering services director Bruce Rendall said the council shared residents’ concerns.
“Council has been and will continue to advocate for bus services in that area and to other high-priority areas such as Dandenong South industrial areas and the bus services to Noble Park on a Sunday,” he said.
Mr Rendall said the primary responsibility for public transport provision rested with the State Government and urged residents to advocate for these improvements directly with their state representatives and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder.