Member for Morwell Russell Northe has once again highlighted the concerns of local parents and families who continue to experience long delays in either sitting their learners hazard perception test or going for their probationary drivers’ licence.
Mr Northe has been contacted by numerous parents in recent days who have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of information being provided by VicRoads when enquiring about previous cancelled and delayed appointments.
“Last month we welcomed news that licence testing would finally resume but now a month down the track many parents still remain unclear as to when their children can sit their driving tests despite making multiple calls and sending various emails to VicRoads” Mr Northe said.
As part of the resumption of testing the State Government advised that more than 200 new staff would be hired to help work through the postponed appointments, Mr Northe has questioned exactly where these staff have been placed and how long the backlog actually is?
“Parents have expressed that unless they have approached VicRoads themselves, they have not received any communication since being notified their test was cancelled and an appointment would be rescheduled in due course” said Mr Northe.
Mr Northe said that whilst he well understood the pressures on VicRoads staff, the State Government needed to ensure regional testing facilities such as those in Morwell were adequately resourced and in turn residents didn’t have to endure months of waiting to sit their driving tests.
“That is why I have again written to the State Government and new Minister for Roads requesting an update on the current timeline that locals have to wait to sit a learners hazard perception test or undertake their probationary licence test?” Mr Northe added.
“I am also concerned of unconfirmed reports that Melbourne residents have been attending the Morwell VicRoads office for appointments. If this claim is accurate, then it is wrong on two fronts. First, why should locals be put at the back of the queue for driver testing, and second what COVID protocols have been put in place to protect VicRoads staff and local residents if this practice is occurring?” Mr Northe said.
“The State Government and the Minister for Roads really need to provide our local community with a reassurance that they will not be forced to wait months to sit their learners permit or probationary licence test” Mr Northe concluded.