Driving Age hearings will be held in Warrnambool & Ballarat this week

Member for Western Victoria James Purcell is calling on south-west Victorians to contribute to the enquiry into lowering the driving age, which will be held in Warrnambool next Thursday.

When: Ballarat - 7 September and Warrnambool - 8 September

Register your interest in being heard by emailing lrrcsc@parliament.vic.gov.au or calling 86822846

Mr Purcell called for an enquiry into lowering the driving age to 17 in December last year and it is currently being reviewed by the Victorian Parliament's Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee.

Mr Purcell said the committee would conduct a hearing in Warrnambool on Thursday, September 8.

"We are very pleased the committee will be conducting a hearing in Warrnambool next week," Mr Purcell said.

"This is an opportunity for south-west Victorian residents to have their say on whether the driving age should be lowered, or remain at 18.

"We encourage anyone with an interest to make a submission to the enquiry."

Mr Purcell called for the investigation after being contacted by several concerned constituents who were struggling to get their children to meaningful employment due to public transport barriers.

"The reality of a regional address is there is a significantly lower access to public transport, which dramatically reduces our youth's ability to secure meaningful employment.

"That's the catalyst for us seeking this inquiry."

The study also seeks a review of the links between the existing driving age and high youth unemployment in regional areas, the impacts of separating the legal driving age and legal drinking age and the correlation between a reduced probationary driving age and the road toll.

"Victoria is the only state where you need to be 18 to gain a probationary licence. The minimum age for an independent driver's licence is 17 in most other states, except the Northern Territory, where it is possible to gain a licence at the age of 16 and 6 months. The minimum age for a learner's permit is 16 years, except in the ACT where it is 15 years and 9 months.

"Vote 1 Local Jobs believes Victorian 17-year-olds are just as responsible as their interstate counterparts and that if you live on one side of the Murray or one side of the South Australian border, 17 is a reasonable age to obtain a probationary licence.

"This motion is in no way designed to reduce road safety in Victoria; we all want to get home safely to our families. Australians deserve to have a safe legislative framework, safe workplaces and safe roads."

Mr Purcell urged people to register their interest in being heard by emailing lrrcsc@parliament.vic.gov.au or calling 86822846.