Photo from @tamsmediaroom

Photo from @tamsmediaroom

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today launched a pilot Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community bus service.

“The pilot program will provide a wheelchair accessible mini bus for a range of uses by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including for transport to activities that promote cultural and community connections, sporting and recreational activities for both youth and seniors,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The bus is far more than a simple lift from one point to another. It is an opportunity to enhance social inclusion for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who are experiencing difficulties accessing transport.

“An ongoing ACT Government study into the transport needs of the local indigenous community has identified social isolation due to a lack of transport as a significant risk factor for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The final report will be released in May 2014.

“Consultation with members of the community confirmed that the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community bus service is critical to addressing the risk of social isolation.

“The bus will be administered through Territory and Municipal Services and will be driven by volunteer drivers drawn from the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.