Axe for mo­tor reg­istry will hit young driv­ers

Lack of test­ing at new Ser­vice NSW cen­tre to put pres­sure on job­seek­ers, stu­dents

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

YOUNG peo­ple in Mt Druitt al­ready strug­gling to find jobs will be hit even harder with the clo­sure of the mo­tor reg­istry midyear.

The reg­istry will be re­placed by a Ser­vice NSW cen­tre which will not of­fer driver test­ing.

It is un­der­stood the new Ser­vice NSW cen­tre will be lo­cated down the road at West­field Mt Druitt, which would make it dif­fi­cult to pro­vide driver test­ings as there is no street front.

The move is ex­pected to hit learn­ers’ hip pock­ets as driv­ing in­struc­tors will be forced to charge for a twohour ses­sion in­stead of one to make up for the travel time to other cen­tres.

Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla said the clo­sure would not only in­con­ve­nience mo­torists but would also put lo­cal busi­nesses out.

“A lot of driv­ing in­struc­tors in­di­cated to me that if they have to take stu­dents from Mt Druitt to one of the other lo­ca­tions they can’t af­ford to charge the stu­dent the min­i­mum one hour,” he said.

Mr Atalla joined about 50 peo­ple who protested the move out­side the reg­istry last Wed­nes­day.

“They’re go­ing to have to charge ex­tra, and if they do that they’re go­ing to lose busi­ness. As a re­sult their busi­ness will just col­lapse,” he said.

“If their busi­nesses col­lapse the Mt Druitt stu­dents are go­ing to find it dif­fi­cult to get a driv­ing in­struc­tor out­side of the area to come and col­lect them and take them to Black­town or Wether­ill Park, so that’s the dilemma we’re in.

“I don’t think there’s been enough logic put into the de- ci­sion-mak­ing, and they haven’t con­sid­ered all the con­se­quences as a re­sult of the poor de­ci­sion of clos­ing down driver test­ing.”

Black­town coun­cil­lor Char­lie Lowles said the loss of driver test­ing would af­fect peo­ple al­ready strug­gling against dis­ad­van­tage.

“This is the youngest con­stituency in NSW. TAFEs are clos­ing down, so they have to travel fur­ther to get to TAFE, and some of those TAFEs are not on trans­port lines, so they need a car,” he said.

The 17 em­ploy­ees of the Mt Druitt Mo­tor Reg­istry had to reap­ply for their jobs, but most will not be mov­ing over to the new cen­tre.

Ques­tions put to Fi­nance, Ser­vices and Prop­erty Min­is­ter Do­minic Per­rot­tet about the loss of driver test­ing were di­rected to Ser­vice NSW.

“Cur­rently, there are also plenty of driver test­ing va­can­cies across the Syd­ney net­work, in­clud­ing at Penrith, Black­town, Wether­ill Park and Cas­tle Hill Ser­vice Cen­tres and the new Sil­ver­wa­ter Driver Test Cen­tre with wait­ing times cur­rently av­er­ag­ing eight days,” a spokesman said.

Em­ployee Kim Webb at the protest out­side the Mt Druitt Mo­tor Reg­istry. Pic­ture: Carmela Roche

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