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Dad’s learner permit petition goes viral

1 month ago 12

A push to have Victorians complete their learners permit test online is gaining fierce momentum.

Scheduled tests and bookings are currently suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, with VicRoads dealing with a huge backlog after Victoria first went into lockdown in March.

As it stands, applicants have to attend a VicRoads office to complete the test on a computer.

But Victorian father David Doherty’s petition calling for the tests to be transferred online is nearing 20,000 signatures, with a further 510 attached to a petition tabled in parliament.

“Everything else is online right now, everyone has had to adapt so why should this be any different,” he said.

“My daughter is waiting to get her L’s and she keeps getting pushed back, she can’t even put in a booking and VicRoads are telling us we might have to wait until next year.”

The Shepparton Dad said his daughter Gabby worked part-time and had plans to study university in Melbourne.

“It’s important especially for regional kids that they have a chance to get their L’s – they have jobs, plans to go to university, they need their independence at this age,” Mr Doherty said.

“Kids these days have so much anxieties and they really struggle with their mental health – they’re stressed about Year 12, getting into university and their independence is crucial.”

State Liberal MP for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell tabled the petition in the Legislative Council this week where it won parliamentary support.

In June, extra VicRoads staff were being hired to deal with a backlog of 100,000 license tests.

That figure is expected to soar, with Melbourne copping a second plunge into lockdown and Victoria wound back to stage three restrictions.

The state government acknowledged the current suspension of learner permit tests would impact “many” Victorians.

“Due to restrictions in place across Victoria, we’ve temporarily suspended computer based licence tests at VicRoads Customer Service Centres to keep customers and staff safe,” a spokesperson said.

“We know this suspension will impact many Victorians, especially those whose licence test may have already been postponed due to the stage 3 restrictions in late March – but this is what needs to be done to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers and slow the spread of coronavirus.”

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