Partnership to take learner driver program to new heights

  • State Budget includes more than $15 million in additional funding for the Driving Access and Equity Program
  • Program is helping disadvantaged community members access a driver’s licence
  • Funding will see the program expanded into the Great Southern and South West
  • Government announces pilot program partnership with McGovern Foundation in metro area
  • A total of $27.6 million now invested into the program since it launched in 2022

The Cook Labor Government will partner with the McGovern Foundation to run a metro pilot of the successful Driving Access and Equity Program (DAEP).

DAEP was established in 2022 in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions to help disadvantaged community members overcome barriers and access a driver’s licence, with the initiative since expanding into a number of other regions.

Last week’s State Budget included a $15.7 million injection for the program, which will allow the Government to continue DAEP in existing regions, expand into the Great Southern and South West for the first time, and run the metro pilot alongside the McGovern Foundation for the next two years.

Since DAEP commenced, 22 community-based organisations across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance regions have received grants through the program.

These grants are helping support local community members with licensing requirements, including access to a safe vehicle, professional driving instruction and supervision, road rules education, and assistance with identity documents.

A total of 3,500 regional residents have received support through the program, while 626 disadvantaged community members have so far obtained a driver’s licence.

Of those 626 people that have obtained a licence, 129 have gone on to secure employment, highlighting the importance of the program.

The McGovern Foundation was founded by Andrew and Jeremy McGovern in 2021, with the aim of addressing widespread inequity and barriers for disadvantaged people to obtain and maintain their driver’s licence. The Foundation is not-for-profit and supported by a board with membership including Jeremy’s Eagles teammate Tom Barrass.

The expansion into the metro area represents a new chapter for DAEP with offerings for service delivery that have historically focused and tailored towards regional and remote locations.

Overall State Government funding for the Driving Access and Equity Program now totals around $27.6 million, which is supporting a range of initiatives to help disadvantaged Western Australian learner drivers through the licensing process.

For more information on the Driving Access and Equity Program, visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/accessequityprogram

As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“We know access to a driver’s licence is fundamental to so many employment and training opportunities, but it’s not a simple process for everyone.

“The reality is that while many of us have access to a safe vehicle and a family member or friend that can help with our driver training and education, there are a lot of people that don’t have that luxury.

“The Driving Access and Equity Program is changing the equation and transforming the lives of thousands of Western Australians by helping them access a driver’s licence for the first time.

“We know how life-changing a licence can be – it’s a pathway to employment, it increases access to health care and essential services and can be transformative for an entire community.

“We’re proud to be investing in this critical program and the additional allocation in the State Budget will allow us to expand into new areas including metropolitan Perth, the South West and Great Southern.

“We’re also very pleased to be partnering with the McGovern Foundation on a pilot program as we launch in Perth.

“The McGovern Foundation have a strong track record in this space and are already delivering great outcomes in the Goldfields for the Government through the Driving Access and Equity Program.”

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Don Punch:

“The expansion of the Cook Government’s landmark Driving Access and Equity Program is a fantastic outcome for regional communities across the State.

“The program is already achieving great outcomes in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West, Gascoyne and Goldfields-Esperance regions – with 626 regional people supported to access a driver’s licence through the program.

“The additional $15.7 million funding in the 2024-25 State Budget will ensure these life-changing services will continue to be delivered in existing regions, while expanding into the Great Southern forthe first timeand more broadly across the South West.”

As stated by McGovern Foundation Founder Andrew McGovern:

“The McGovern Foundation is delighted to continue our Partnership with the Driving Access and Equity Program.

“The need to support and help disadvantaged community members is just as prevalent in the metropolitan area as it is in the country regions.

“We see on a daily basis the positive impact in our community – this funding provides life-changing opportunities, independence, and support within the family environment.

“Having a driver’s licence allows people in our community to access employment and training, health services and playing sport.”

Program results to date:

Region

Grant Funding (awarded)

Number of locations being delivered

Number of licences attained

Employment

Kimberley

$3,681,836

21

175

45

Pilbara

$3,020,020

25

290

63

Gascoyne

$645,150

6

56

1

Mid West

$992,210

19

36

4

Goldfields-Esperance

$1,694,514

12

69

16

Total

$10,033,730

83

626

129

/Public Release. View in full here.