Regional News

Successful regional learner driver program given $5.5 million boost

  • McGowan Government investing a further $5.5 million to extend Driving Access and Equity Program
  • Important initiative primarily assists young, disadvantaged people in regional WA to obtain their driver’s licence, helping with job opportunities
  • Extension of program in 2022-23 State Budget brings investment to more than $10 million

The McGowan Government will commit an additional $5.5 million in the 2022-23 State Budget to expand the Driving Access and Equity Program, providing important additional support to assist disadvantaged young people to obtain their driver’s licence.

The program provides young people, particularly those from regional and remote parts of the State, with the assistance needed to obtain their driver’s licence and open up job opportunities.

During the past 12 months, a pilot of the program has awarded $3.4 million in grants to 12 organisations in the Kimberley and Pilbara to deliver initiatives that improve access to driving services, instructors and suitable vehicles.

The additional State Budget funding will enable the McGowan Government to provide up to $3.7 million in further grants.

The program has already helped with the establishment and expansion of three Regional Youth Driver Education (RYDE) programs to help learners complete their required 50 hours of supervised driving.

It has assisted with the purchase of new vehicles for driver training and with the employment of an additional five new remote services officers – enabling the delivery of an additional 130 driving assessments this year.

Thirty local people are also undertaking their Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics Training (Road Transport – Car Driving Instruction), which will help further boost the number of available driving instructors around the State.

Work continues on other program initiatives, including the production of publications for learner drivers who speak English as a second language or for whom literacy is a barrier, as well as increasing the number of theory testing providers.

Consultation with community organisations and local government will take place in the coming months to identify priority regions to be included in the program extension.

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“The Driving Access and Equity Program is assisting many in the Kimberley and Pilbara to receive their driver’s licence and improve their job prospects.

“We’re already seeing some great results from our initial investment that’s getting more vehicles, supervisors and instructors out into areas they’re needed the most and providing people with the tailored support they need throughout the licensing process.

“The further $5.5 million commitment will give us the opportunity to build on this success and help thousands more young people in regional Western Australia become safe, employable drivers.”

Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:

“More than $2 million has gone into important programs and organisations in the Kimberley as part of the Driving Access and Equity Program.

“This is so important to ensure that we are really addressing those barriers that could prevent learner drivers from getting the support they need.”

Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

“This program is giving people more opportunity, whether it be through training and upskilling opportunities, or furthering greater independence.

“I am so proud that more than $1.4 million has gone into supporting people within the Pilbara to become qualified driving instructors or supervisors and helped increase the number of people with a driver’s licence.”

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