Community transport service is back up and running

Cobar Community Transport Service driver Rachael Davis Manns with the 10 seater
mini bus that transports locals to Dubbo and Bourke for medical appointments.

Cobar residents once again have access to
a community transport service that will
enable them to attend specialist medical
appointments in Dubbo and Bourke.
The Cobar Community Transport service,
managed by Australian Unity with funding
provided through the Commonwealth Home
Support Program (CHSP) and NSW Government’s
Community Transport Program, now
operates three days a week.
The service can be used by seniors and
young people alike and is aimed at helping
residents who are financially disadvantaged or
transport disadvantaged, to enable them to
attend out of town medical appointments.
It can also be utilised to attend personal appointments,
to do some shopping, for the purposes
of socializing, visiting family and friends
or attending community events and activities.
The community service operates to help people
with their daily living, both locally and out
of town.
Cobar Health Council chair Gordon Hill said
it was encouraging to see the resumption of
this “much needed service”.
“This service, or the lack of it over the past
year or so, has been discussed at numerous
meetings of the Integrated Healthcare Interagency
committee,” Mr Hill said.
He said they had taken the matter up with
Transport for NSW and State Member for Barwon
Roy Butler and had also received the support
of the Country Women’s Association.
“The CWA took the matter to the State Conference
and only a couple of weeks later it was
announced that it was resuming,” Mr Hill said.
“We’re pleased to see there has been some
response to our concerns at a lack of service
for medical treatment and specialist appointments.
“It’s certainly in demand. I’ve had numerous
enquiries over the past few months about when
it might resume and so I was very happy when
I heard earlier this year that Australian Unity
would be resuming the service,” Mr Hill said.
The community transport service previously
ran with volunteer drivers and was forced to
cease when volunteer drivers became unavailable.
The Cobar Community Transport Service
resumed last month and now employs a driver.
Local resident Rachael Davis Manns is employed
to drive a 10 seater mini bus (which has
a wheelchair hoist) three days a week to Dubbo
and also Bourke when needed.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, currently there
is limited seating available.
Bookings to us the service should be made
with as much notice as possible, and can even
be made for months in advance.
Late bookings may be permitted the day
before (depending upon availability).
The service can comprise a one way or return
trip on the same day.
It’s recommended that people intending on
using the service to Dubbo try to organise their
medical appointments for late morning as this
allows enough time for the service to meet its
schedule and route requirements.
Customers must be assessed as eligible under
CHSP funding arrangements and while the
service is subsidised, there is a component to
be paid by the customer