After a successful pilot program, the state government is pumping more money into regional young driver education programs to get more of the areas young adults on the road.
Transportation Minister Rita Saffioti announced on Thursday that the state government will invest an additional $5.5 million to expand the Driving Access and Equity program as part of the 2022 state budget. to 2023, bringing the overall investment in the program to $10 million.
It comes after the pilot scheme received $3.4 million in grants which have been distributed to 12 organizations in the Kimberleys and Pilbaras over the past year, adding 130 additional driving assessments and employing five new service officers from a distance.
Ms Saffioti said the Driving Access and Equity scheme is helping many people in the Kimberley and Pilbara to receive their driving licenses and improve their employment prospects.
“We are already seeing great results from our initial investment which is deploying more vehicles, supervisors and instructors to the areas they need most and providing users with the tailored support they need all the time. throughout the licensing process,” she said.
“We have also doubled the assessment team here in Broome via the Pilbara and also Geraldton and almost 100 people have now obtained their driving licenses through this new scheme.
“The additional commitment of $5.5 million will give us the opportunity to build on this success and help thousands more young people in the Western Australia region become safe and employable drivers.”
Ms Saffioti said the aim of the program was to put young people on the road so that they can enter the job market.
“It’s the young people who don’t have a driver’s license, who need that license to be able to participate in the work,” she said.
“And of course, not only to drive to work, but also to access work because we know that in regional WA the distances are vast, and in particular, on construction projects, by road projects, you often have to drive a fairway to access these workplaces.