10 June 2024

Bus theft puts youth services in Napranum at risk

| Chisa Hasegawa
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PCYC Napranum bus damaged and abandoned

PCYC Napranum’s 12-seater bus was stolen and damaged beyond repair, jeopardising the club’s service delivery. Photo: Facebook.

Youth services and activities at PCYC Napranum are at risk after the club’s 12-seater bus was stolen and damaged beyond repair.

The bus was reported missing by community members who saw it driving around Napranum on the night of 30 May.

Police are currently investigating the incident.

Used for several out-of-community sporting and cultural activities, club manager Sergeant Rhonda Spence said the bus was an integral part of delivering many of PCYC Napranum’s services.

“That bus gave our kids opportunities that they would otherwise never have, and it’s become difficult to ensure that the kids continue to get those opportunities and support,” she said.

“It just takes away all the hard work our staff have been doing to make sure that our youth are being exposed to great learning activities.”

The bus was also used to assist with getting children to school when they missed the main bus, transporting equipment, and large grocery hauls for the club’s free breakfast program.

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Sergeant Spence explained that the bus was the club’s largest vehicle that could be driven with a regular car licence, making transport and staffing a logistical nightmare following the theft.

“It’s become really difficult to juggle everything that needs to be done in one day,” Sergeant Spence said.

“We have a 14-seater bus, but you can only drive it with a certain class licence that only a few staff members have.

“It means that the staff member I had rostered to drive can’t do it, and I need to find someone else, or I need more staff to use smaller vehicles and fewer kids can attend.”

Sergeant Spence said it was incredibly disappointing to see opportunities be jeopardised in a tight-knit community like Napranum.

“My staff at the club do great work for the kids in supporting them and encouraging good behaviours,” she said.

“It hurt them that they have put so much effort into ensuring that the kids are productive and have dreams, and this is what’s happened.”

Anyone with information regarding the theft of the bus is asked to contact Weipa police.

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