Learner drivers get a glimmer of hope
Thousands of prospective learner drivers seeking to get their learners’ permit could soon have good news thanks to the lobbying of Gippsland Nationals MPs.
The state government has confirmed it is “actively investigating” providing the learners’ permit application online.
During Public Accounts and Estimate Committee (PAEC) hearings, The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien questioned the Minister for Transport Infrastructure about the test going online. Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull has also raised the matter directly with the government.
“In response I was pleased to be informed by senior transport staff that the issue was under consideration,” Mr O’Brien said.
“We are all very aware of the need to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and I understand the cancellation of actual driving tests, however this is already a computer-based test which could be done safely online.
“Getting your L’s is important for young Gippslanders, a step most teenagers look forward to. Many of our young people rely on the ability to gain their licence when they turn 18 and begin their adult life.
“In a time when our youth are being asked to cope with online learning, not interacting with their friends and not being able to play sport we need to keep some normality for them - sitting for their learners’ permit should be an easy part of life we can offer them.
“Whether that be for further education, work or apprenticeships if they aren’t able to obtain their licence it puts more pressure on families to get them to and from where they need to be.
“Regionally we don’t have the public transport options available as in the metro area.
Mr O’Brien said even before COVID-19, there were massive waiting lists for permits.
“Suspension of the computer-based learner tests has worsened the wait times and the government needs to rectify this issue.
“At this stage, bookings are not even able to be made with VicRoads. Let’s hope that will change soon.”
13 August 2020