East Gippsland’s young adults need to be able to obtain their driving licences during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said it was not right the State Government had basically shut up shop and removed the ability for young drivers to sit their learner test, or undertake their probationary licence test.
“We are not asking for any undue risk to be taken here. Sitting in an office (to sit your L plate test) is allowable under the current arrangements and sitting in a car with another person not from your home (eg driving instructor for a probationary test) is also permitted under the current COVID restrictions,” said Mr Bull.
“In addition, there’s no reason computerised hazard testing can’t be delivered online, given the technology exists.
“Our youth need their licences to be able to get to work and also apply for jobs. We have cases at the present time where our young adults want to work but can’t apply for jobs because they cannot get their licence.
“It is another case of our basic requirements in the country not being considered. We do not have the public transport options that city folk have, and these things are overlooked when we make state-wide decisions.
“We already have a massive backlog of young adults who need their licences, so not only do we need it re-opened, but we need additional staff to remove the backlog.”
Mr Bull said the move was also adversely impacting several learn to drive businesses in the region.
“At present there is only very limited testing for hardship reasons, but it is not keeping up with demand or going anywhere towards servicing the needs of the community.
“I have written to the Premier on this matter last week and will hopefully get some positive action from the Government. While we must remain safe, we should be able to undertake these important measures that do not increase risk but allow us to function in the country.
“I understand decisions are made quickly at this time, but this was first raised months ago, and it is time it was rectified.”