For licences issued before 1 July 2007, learners had only to complete 50 hours of accompanied driving.
Then, the requirement jumped to a ridiculous 120 hours.
Next, the NSW government recognised the ridiculousness of this requirement, and created a little exemption.
If a learner driver took a 1-hour lesson with a certified instructor, they could record 3 hours in their logbook, up to a total of 10 hours of lessons.
(NB: All young WasteWatchers should check their local licencing laws to find out what crazy conditions apply this week.)
Then, the NSW government realised that since driving lessons can cost $80 an hour, and since not every learner in NSW can get a fully-licensed relative or friend to take them on 120 hours of accompanied driving, they were setting up a licencing system that could make the cost of a provisional licence close to $10,000.
So, in the manner of governments around the world, they got together in a smoky room somewhere and had some meetings, and thought very hard.
The upshot was not a change to the NSW licencing requirements (or other states and territories), but yet another government program, this time at a federal level.
After the recent 2013 election, the Abbott Government committed a further $10 million across 3 years.
Oh! the magic of government programs.
WasteWatch can hardly wait for the next instalment in the drama.
William Shrubb, Research Assistant
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