Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says following repeated calls from The Nationals, the Victorian government has announced learner drivers from across regional Victoria will finally be able to sit their learner’s permit test online.
But added the government has even managed to make a mess of that.
Mr Walsh, together with his National Party colleagues, has repeatedly called for online testing to be implemented to help manage the huge backlog of testing appointments following their cancellation due to the COVID-19.
“A lot of our young people have been directly impacted by this and have been very patient waiting for their tests,” Mr Walsh said.
“A driver’s licence is crucial for young people in rural and regional areas where public transport is virtually non-existent – they need a licence to be able to get to and from work or seek employment.
“Their employment and future prospects have been severely hampered by their inability to sit a test. It is extremely frustrating that while testing resumed in September, it has taken Labor a further eight months to implement on-line testing when the technology already existed and was available,” he said.
With the first 500 prospective learner drivers to sit the test coming from the Gippsland region; Mr Walsh expressed his ongoing frustration, on behalf of his constituents.
“While I am pleased for these Gippsland residents, they have been selected in recognition of the long distances many have to travel to sit the text in-person,” he said.
“Well this also directly applies to the residents of Murray Plains, if you are in Swan Hill you have further to go than someone from Sale or Bairnsdale; from Echuca the distance is almost identical to Sale, so surely they could be spreading this around the state.
“I am calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately expand eligibility to include Murray Plains residents; so our young people are not left stranded and even further disadvantaged than they already are by the lack of public transport available.”