JOINING FORCES: The Monto Ratepayers Association and local police successfully campaigned to bring driving tests back to Monto.
JOINING FORCES: The Monto Ratepayers Association and local police successfully campaigned to bring driving tests back to Monto. David Nielsen

Driving tests to make a comeback in Monto

MONTO'S learner drivers rejoice. From next year the community's youngest motorists will be able to sit their practical driving tests in town.

The issuance of new Queensland driver's licences will be reintroduced from early next year after the Monto Ratepayers Association successfully petitioned the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey.

Applicants must currently sit their driving tests in Biloela after DTMR determined Monto's lack of traffic lights and a roundabout meant the town did not satisfy the minimum requirements.

Upon review, DTMR backed down from its hard-line stance and has agreed to allow local police to administer the testing.

In a letter from Mr Bailey's chief of staff, Ian Hutcheon, to Monto Ratepayers, DTMR confirmed the service would return in 2019.

"Since receiving your most recent letter, officers representing the Department of Transort and Main Roads (DTMR) have liased with officers from Queensland Police Service (QPS) in Monto to resolve the matter,” Mr Hutcheon said.

"As a result of these recent discussions, which involved clarifying the minimum requirements for a practical driving test in a remote community, Monto QPS has agreed to commence practical driving tests and the issuing of a new driver licences.

"I can confirm that Monto QPS will continue to provide other TMR licensing services to the community on Monday and Thursday, between the hours of 8am and 12pm.

"Due to the limited number of QPS staff available in Monto and planned staff leave between now and January 2019, it was agreed that practical driving tests will commence at the Monto police station from Thursday, January 10, 2019.”

According to DTMR, testing will be available for classes up to and including Heavy Rigid (HR), excluding motorcycles.

Tests will be available by appointment twice monthly, with a maximum of four tests per day (8am, 9am, 10am and 11am).

The service will be limited to local Monto residents, with any exceptions to be approved by the officer in charge of the Monto Police Station, Sergeant Mick Bazzo.

Monto Ratepayers Association secretary Jack Muller said the change would save learner drivers from journeying to another town to sit their test.

"It was raised at one of our meetings and (senior constable) Matt Stark said he would be prepared to do it,” Mr Muller said.

"We weren't even aware the service wasn't available here.”