Lismore a road too far for Clarence Transport
by Adrian Miller.
ANNE ELLIOT received the fright of her life last week when her husband, Ron Morrissey, took ill with a bowel complaint.
After a check-up with the doctor, he was advised to undergo emergency surgery at Lismore Base Hospital to remove a cancerous growth.
Mrs Elliot, who is retired and in her 60s, was concerned when told she would have to drive him to Lismore. She owns a small car which is only used to drive to the supermarket and back, a distance of less than five kilometres.
She said she had lost the confidence to drive any distance. She called Clarence Community Transport to ask for help with the drive to Lismore.
She was refused help, with funding problems given as the reason.
Mrs Elliot said she could not understand the decision.
"I feel sick about the whole thing," she said.
Clarence Community Transport manager Hajar Ismail said the organisation could not afford to make the trip.
"We've had quite a big increase in requests for transport recently, but our funding has not increased," she said.
"We do depend on volunteers, but we can't always afford to reimburse our volunteer drivers. A trip to Lismore costs us $84 minimum using a volunteer driver and we don't always have the money."
Miss Ismail said she sympathised with Mrs Elliot's problem.
"We need to advise our customers that we can only limit ourselves to some services," she said.
"We never did emergency transports, that's not in our brief."