Party to support learner program

A VicRoads L2P program helped Colac’s Samara Riley, right, obtain her driver’s licence. Ms Riley is pictured with Polwarth Labor candidate Libby Coker and program supporter Colac Community Hub Inc’s Rachel Wood.

A VicRoads L2P program helped Colac’s Samara Riley, right, obtain her driver’s licence. Ms Riley is pictured with Polwarth Labor candidate Libby Coker and program supporter Colac Community Hub Inc’s Rachel Wood.

LABOR will reinstate funding for a learn-to-drive program for disadvantaged Colac youths if it wins the state election.

Colac’s Samara Riley, 19, said a VicRoads L2P program through Colac Community Hub Inc helped her reach the 120 hours behind the wheel she needed to obtain her driver’s licence.

The program pairs learner drivers with a volunteer supervisor driver for driving practice.

“I definitely am appreciative of the program because I didn’t have parents close to me, so I couldn’t get the hours that I needed,” she said.

“You learnt about all the safety and built a good relationship with your mentors, too.”

Ms Riley said she struggled with commuting to work until she obtained her licence last month.

“You feel so grown up as soon as you get it, it’s a massive independence boost and you don’t have to rely on others to get around,” she said.

“The L2P program is good for the youth of Colac.”

The State Government is yet to confirm whether it will fund Colac’s learner driver program next year.

But Australian Labor Party Polwarth candidate Libby Coker said a Labor State Government would commit $16 million to fund L2P.

Ms Coker said Labor would also reward “the most responsible young drivers” with a free three-year licence.

“Under the $7-million plan, drivers who have completed four years on P plates with no road offences will be eligible,” Ms Coker said.

Ms Coker said Labor would build an $80-million crash and trauma education centre where Year 10 students would access free, compulsory half-day defensive driving courses by 2018 under a $24.4 million Labor plan.

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