Central Queensland drivers learn the ropes on the road

Media Release

JM093/2018

04 May 2018

Joint release with:

Matt Burnett

Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council

Ken O'Dowd

Federal Member for Flynn

  • New driving education centre opens near Gladstone at Benaraby, Queensland
  • Project will help reduce serious injuries and fatalities on the national road network
  • The Coalition Government invested $589,427 in the project

Road safety on Australia's regional road network has received a boost today with the opening of a new driving school in Benaraby Queensland, 15 minutes south of Gladstone.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the Central Queensland Driver Education Centre will give inexperienced drivers the skills and exposure of driving on the open road.

“We know regional Australia is disproportionately impacted by road accidents, and when we invest in road safety, it supports both regional communities as well as our continued commitment to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our national road network,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This centre includes a multi-purpose bitumen road, giving drivers the space to develop their technique and build their confidence without the stress or danger of traffic.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, who attended the opening today, said the centre also includes an unsealed area for training on rougher roads and rainy conditions.

“Being a skilled driver means being able to adapt to weather conditions, and this centre allows new drivers to prepare themselves for whatever the weather might throw at them,” Mr O'Dowd said.

“Our Coalition Government has contributed more than half a million dollars towards the construction of this essential facility, creating 11 jobs in the process—four of which are ongoing while also drawing people from far and wide to our region to utilise the centre,” Mr O'Dowd said.

Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council Matt Burnett said Council was pleased to have worked with the community and funding partners to deliver a safe, controlled, off-road area for driver training.

“The $1.2 million project is a benefit to drivers of all ages, teaching potentially life-saving skills to road users from throughout Central Queensland,” Cr Burnett said.

“This facility offers the skills that could save lives and help safeguard our future generations on the road.”

The Coalition Government contributed $589,427 toward the project with Gladstone Regional Council providing $348,428 and the Calliope and District Community Bank contributing $250,000.