Axe for motor registry will hit young drivers
Lack of testing at new Service NSW centre to put pressure on jobseekers, students
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