Driving tests will resume this month, but a backlog of appointments mean many learner drivers will be forced to wait months to get behind the wheel.
Following calls from the Liberal Nationals for VicRoads to resume testing, the Andrews Labor Government has confirmed it will begin to clear the backlog of postponed tests from June 15.
Despite additional staff being hired, a failure to significantly boost the number of appointment times means new drivers will be forced to wait months to schedule a test.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said the delay disadvantaged regional Victorian drivers more than their city counterparts.
“Unlike in Melbourne where there’s endless options to get you from A to B, a drivers licence is crucial for young people in Gippsland where public transport is limited,” Ms Bath said.
“It helps to take the pressure off regional families who have to travel long distances each day to attend school, university, medical appointments or to do the shopping and play sports.
“Young people can’t afford to wait months to access testing and this ‘announcement’ offers no firm date on when the backlog will be cleared.
“With an estimated 100,000 Victorians waiting for a licence test, The Nationals have been calling for a significant increase in appointment availability by extending the operating hours of testing centres and allowing them to open on the weekends.
“VicRoads offices in regional Victoria that only offer driving tests one or two days a week must have their capacity increased to work through this massive backlog as soon as possible.”