A SINGLE mother who issued a desperate plea to retain her job in Bathurst instead of being transferred to Orange has been told to catch the bus.
Michelle McDonald has one of 39 new positions with the Department of Trade and Investment, which will cement Orange as the corporate operations headquarters for that department.
She is presently based in Bathurst as a customer support representative in the facility services section at the Land and Property Information (LPI) offices in Panorama Avenue.
Her emotional letter to Bathurst MP Paul Toole and member for Calare John Cobb put a strong case as to why the daily journey to Orange is something that is not workable for the widower with six children, including 15-year-old triplets.
But while Mr Toole has taken up Mrs McDonald’s cause with Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, the response from Mr Cobb wasn’t the one she was hoping for.
A staffer from Mr Cobb’s office wrote to her expressing the MP’s concerns.
“John was very concerned to read your email and appreciates the impact this employment transfer will have on you, particularly from a financial standpoint,” the letter said.
"However, as the departments you have named – the Department of Land and Property Information, and the Department of Trade and Investment – are both the responsibility of the state government, this issue comes under the jurisdiction of your state member of Parliament, Paul Toole, as John is your federal MP.
“Further, I am aware there is a bus service which runs from Bathurst to Orange return daily, which may be of assistance. Please let me know if you would like John to raise this matter with Paul Toole on your behalf.”
Mrs McDonald said yesterday she was disappointed with the response.
“I got sent the bus timetable from Mr Cobb,” she said. “That tells me ‘bad luck, I can’t help because it’s Paul Toole’s problem’ and shows no compassion at all.
“Certainly there is a daily return bus service between Orange and Bathurst, but it’s really tough having three girls going into year 9 next year. It’s a tough age.
“It’s just not as easy as jumping on a bus, or even car pooling. You need to be there for them before and after school and if anything urgent happens I just can’t jump on the bus and come back home.
“This situation just leaves me in the lurch and I thought Mr Cobb would have shown a bit more compassion.”