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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23289

Mrs MAY (1:51 PM) —Earlier this year, the federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon. John Anderson, proposed that Australia should establish a compulsory national program on driver education for all provisional licence holders, to reduce the number of young people killed and maimed on our roads. The minister has also asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services to review the National Road Safety Strategy and the National Road Safety Action Plan. I applaud these initiatives by the minister, as I believe road fatalities in this country are shocking and such a complete waste of life. We know that one in three deaths on our roads are young Australians aged between 15 and 24—young people cut down in the prime of their life.

Education is a powerful tool. Driver training is a must for young people and there are excellent mentors, trainers and facilities around Australia that can deliver programs for our young people. One such centre is the world-renowned performance driving centre on the Gold Coast. It was established by a very special Australian—Frank Gardner—a man who spent 20 years on the international racing circuit. At the end of his racing career he turned his attention to road safety, and the performance driving centre was born. He is committed to road safety and driver training. His own success and his skills led to a driver training book and an educational facility that is second to none. I encourage the committee to visit the centre to see first hand what driver training can achieve and to meet a very special Australian who is very frustrated at the lack of support there is for driver training from governments both at a federal and state level.