TESTING RESUMES: Shift Training in Brisbane welcomed the news but is concerned about the growing backlog.
TESTING RESUMES: Shift Training in Brisbane welcomed the news but is concerned about the growing backlog.

Queensland to resume heavy vehicle practical driving tests

AFTER consultation with the industry, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has given the green light for practical driver licence testing to begin in Queensland from next week.

Mr Bailey said the decision recognises the essential role truck drivers and heavy vehicles play in keeping the economy moving.

Test bookings can be made from tomorrow, May 19, with the first testing to start from May 25.

Priority will be given to those who have previously had a test booked which was cancelled when the suspension was announced, emergency service drivers, those who require a licence for specific employment and "those with exceptional circumstances".

"There are opportunities for people who have lost jobs in other industries to upskill and retrain as a heavy vehicle driver to meet the increased demand for drivers, particularly in the courier, home delivery sectors and other sectors requiring drivers with multi combination licences," said Gary Mahon, chief executive of the Queensland Trucking Association.

"During this COVID-19 crisis, the road freight industry has responded extremely well to implement the recommended hygiene and infection control protocols to ensure the safe delivery of freight into health facilities and communities around the state."

The QTA has developed a free truck driver program supported by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

Mr Bailey added that the safety of drivers and staff would be the highest priority when heavy vehicle driving tests re-started.

"We will ask screening questions before the tests to protect our driving examiners and implement a strict, vehicle-cleaning process before each test," he said.

Stu Gluyas, chief executive of Shift Training in Brisbane, welcomed the news but still had reservations

"I guess it will help somewhat, however, it's only a tentative start. The backlog is growing with no real answers for it from TMR," he said.

For more information about testing, click here.