Grant funding to expand driver training program in Fitzroy Valley

Natasha ClarkBroome Advertiser
New driving instructors Noelyn Agripan, Catterina Panizza, Natasha Hunter, Amber Caswell, Alexis Ward and Joylene Bradshaw.
Camera IconNew driving instructors Noelyn Agripan, Catterina Panizza, Natasha Hunter, Amber Caswell, Alexis Ward and Joylene Bradshaw. Credit: Department of Transport

Nearly $200,000 in grant funding has been allocated to the Driving Access and Equity Program (DAEP), to facilitate the expansion of learner driver services to the Fitzroy Valley.

The initiative aims to assist disadvantaged community members in overcoming barriers to accessing a driver’s licence, thereby improving their employment prospects.

The Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation (MWWAC) has been awarded the funding following the Fitzroy Valley DAEP grant round earlier this year.

The funding injection will enable MWWAC to broaden its existing driver training program, providing essential support to local community members in navigating the licensing process.

More than 60 individuals are expected to benefit from the program, receiving assistance ranging from access to a safe vehicle and professional driving instruction and supervision, to road rules education and help with identity documents.

The demand for licensing services in the Fitzroy Valley is evident, with the Department of Transport remote team conducting more than 925 transactions for communities across the region in 2022-23.

This expansion represents a significant investment in the Kimberley region, with nearly $4 million in DAEP grant funding now allocated to the area.

Since the inception of the program in the Kimberley, more than 175 disadvantaged community members have successfully obtained their licenses. Moreover, approximately 50 individuals have leveraged their newfound mobility to secure employment opportunities.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti underscored the transformative impact of the Driving Access and Equity Program and said it will continue to deliver safer and more employable licensed drivers across Western Australia.

“Having a driver’s licence is a road to opportunity — not only for employment options but also enabling independence and improving access to training and educational programs, healthcare and essential services,” Ms Saffioti said.

Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna echoed the sentiment, highlighting the program’s efficacy in empowering local organisations such as MWWAC to guide community members through the learner driver process.

“We’re already seeing the incredible outcomes of this program throughout the Kimberley region and expanding it into the Fitzroy Valley is an exciting step forward,” she said.

For those seeking further information on the Driving Access and Equity Program, detailed resources are available at www.transport.wa.gov.au/accessequityprogram.

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