Shadow Transport Minister Shane Love has welcomed the State Government’s belated announcement to improve fair and equitable access for learner drivers to undertake practical driving assessments (PDAs).
In Parliament today, Mr Love used a Grievance to call for the McGowan Labor Government to improve processes for L-platers to access practical tests, following reports of West Australians having to travel hundreds of kilometres to rural towns to be tested.
Mr Love said it was astounding to see reports of some Perth parents having to drive their children to towns more than eight hours away, because there is no availability in the metro area.
“Part of the reason this has happened was due to a loophole in the Department of Transport’s (DoT) online booking system, which authorised driving instructors to mass-book PDAs,” Mr Love said.
“This calculated behaviour prevents people from booking a driving test sooner and has allowed driving instructors to make a profit from a free Government service.
“I welcome the Government finally cracking down on this Departmental loophole after almost 12 months of calls for change from the Opposition.”
Mr Love said West Australians wanting to get their licence should never have had to endure this sort of behaviour, all because DoT was unable to update their system sooner.
“It is a disgrace that it has taken the Minister this long to announce a long-awaited overhaul of the PDA booking system,” Mr Love said.
“The Minister dragging her feet on this issue has come at the expense of West Australians left out of pocket, or with a long drive to regional towns where driving tests were available sooner.”
Mr Love said the improvement to the PDA booking system was just the first step in making the process for learner drivers more equitable and fair.
“These would-be drivers are desperate to go to work to study and still they endure the agonising experience of logging into the DoT Direct website and hitting refresh in the hope they can book a driving test, months down the track if they are lucky.”
“The Minister announced further security measures will be rolled out and that the Government will continue to improve availability of PDA bookings, but time will tell if conditions improve,” Mr Love said.
“The Opposition will keep up the pressure to ensure improvements are rolled out quickly so more learner drivers can book a test, get their licence, and hit the road to get to work or to explore our incredible State.”