Call for more resources for licensing centres

A STATE traffic union wants more done to combat long queues, excessive waiting periods and cancellations for practical driving assessments.

The Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association is pushing for more resources be put in place so scheduled assessments at nine of the Department of Transport’s licensing centres, including Willagee, are not cancelled when an instructor is off.

Union branch secretary Toni Walkington said assessors conducted about 10 driving tests per day and there was no contingency plan for when driving instructors called in sick.

“Our members know the most efficient way to deal with the problem is to either employ driving assessor team leaders to co-ordinate and conduct the tests when people are sick or on annual leave or employ relief assessors,” Ms Walkington said.

“Even providing relief staff for just a couple of licensing centres would mean more people are not being let down.”

The department has 64 permanent driving assessor positions and 27 multi-skilled staff.

A spokeswoman said there were also strategies in place to reduce customer inconvenience.

“Since December 2013, the number of available PDAs for all classes of vehicles has increased annually by approximately 11,000 due to the removal of mandatory age based testing,” the spokeswoman said.

“In addition to this, approximately 2000 additional bookings have been made available annually due to the expansion of the heavy vehicle assessment partnership which continues to grow.

“DoT is in regular contact with the Public Sector Union and will continue to review its processes and strategies to ensure it effectively manages its existing resources.”