Over the last 6 months, the Charlton Neighbourhood House has been undertaking a project to develop new and innovative community transport options to meet the needs of the Charlton community. 

As part of this project, four different models have been presented by the Consultants with a recommendation that the Charlton Neighbourhood House implement a hybrid of two of these models to achieve a range of outcomes to benefit the local community:

1. New community transport options in addition to non-urgent patient medical transport with a social connectivity and health and wellbeing focus:
  • Sunraysia/Calder Highway network of community transport providers
  • Youth transport program
  • NDIS/Court travel assistance
  • Ride-share initiative
  • Linkage to V/Line train services
2. The development of a new tourism venture encouraging visitors to consider staying longer, and showing them the diversity and “hidden gems” of the region including:
  • Regular guided tours to Charlton and district tourist attractions
  • Day trips to nearby destinations for local residents and visitors to the region
  • Specialist trips to events in the region for local residents, eg. AFL games
  • Mobility equipment hire service – Ebikes, gophers, wheelchairs, etc
  • Charlton town tours (walking and mini-bus)

The new Charlton Integrated Community Transport Project report also recommends a range of actions to improve community transport in the future:
  • Service improvement – structured volunteer management program for the community transport program; an annual forum for the community transport sector; apply for a TAC community safety grant to provide gopher training and refresher lessons for older drivers and those who volunteer as part of the community transport program
  • Sector reform – submission to the current Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the use of school buses in rural and regional Victoria; submission to VPTAS regarding reimbursement rates for patients using community transport vehicles; health sector reform – ways to improve booking systems to enable patients to minimise their travel for specialist appointments and/or opportunities for residents from the same town to be seen on the same day; and explore opportunities to provide community transport services to NDIS recipients
  • Access and safety – advocate for infrastructure that will improve access and safety for Charlton residents including a truck bypass of High Street; linking the Avoca River walk to Charlton College; installation of a pedestrian crossing in High Street; and better gopher accessibility.

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* 1. Now that you have had a chance to see the options contained within the report, how well do you think the recommended model will meet the needs of the Charlton community?

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* 2. Post Covid-19, how important do you think better community transport services are?

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* 3. Will your organisation be willing to work with the Charlton Neighbourhood House to implement better community transport options? How

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* 4. Do you think the recommendations (and information) contained within the report are adaptable to other community transport programs across rural Victoria?

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* 5. The report contains a series of recommendations to improve community transport in the future.  Please rank these in order of priority to help us identify where to focus our resources first (please rank from 1 to 11 with 1 being most important):

 
Thank you for taking the time to complete our stakeholder survey.  Your input is important to us.
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