Announcements - October 2, 2020
Community Transport resumes to Echuca, Shepparton
Intereach Community Transport in the Edward River Council area has resumed trips to Shepparton and Echuca following the extension of the ‘border bubble’ boundary as part of the state government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions locally.
The valuable service had been transporting participants only within NSW in recent months, due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the challenges associated with the border restrictions. Intereach CEO Keryn Fox thanked service users for their patience and understanding during what is still a challenging time.
“Our clients and their families / carers have been and continue to be very understanding, and very respectful of the situation we’re all facing with COVID-19. Most people were able to move medical appointments to Albury or somewhere else in New South Wales, or postpone them if they weren’t time-critical. I’d like to acknowledge the hospitals and clinics where a large number of our service users attend – they’ve been fantastic in coming up with alternative options, working in with our Community Transport team to get the best outcome for the participant while ensuring COVID precaution. Our local health services have also been fantastic and very understanding.
“I’d also like to acknowledge our Community Transport staff, including our drivers, who went above and beyond, working with the participant to get the best outcome possible in challenging circumstances. At this stage we’re still not offering the service to Melbourne or Bendigo but we’re hopeful that will change soon with the drop in COVID numbers in these areas.”
Intereach Community Transport can help older people, people living with a disability, including children and their carers, people who are transport disadvantaged, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs support recipients, to stay independent and connected to the local community. Transport can be provided for such tasks as shopping, medical appointments, social outings and more. In Deniliquin, concessional ‘around town trips’ cost $2.20 and non-concessional $4.50. Round trips for participants (concession) to Echuca or Finley are $32 and to Shepparton or Albury $53. Non-concessional out-of-town trips are $1 per kilometre plus a $30 administration fee.
Ms Fox encouraged anyone interested in utilising the service to call Intereach on 1300 488 226 and speak to the Community Transport team, or call into the Intereach office on the corner of Napier and Trickett streets in Deni.
“Our team can go through what’s the best available option for you, so give them a call. Often it’s a very affordable option with concessions or group bookings. We want to make this as affordable as possible for our community – it’s such a valuable and essential service and we want to see more local people use it. It provides a flexible service that is door-to-door pick-up and drop-off.”
Ms Fox said the organisation would welcome back its invaluable volunteer drivers this week after a break due to COVID-19.
“Obviously our service stopped altogether at the height of the travel restrictions, and now we’re welcoming back our volunteers who are pivotal to delivering this service,” she said.
“A number of volunteers completed COVID-safe training last week and those who were interested will start back doing round town trips and trips within a 100 kilometre radius of Deniliquin at this stage. We needed to go over the COVID-safe practices such as the use of hand sanitiser and wiping down and sanitising the vehicle after use before we could get them back behind the wheel.”
Caption: Community Transport driver Jaimarlee.