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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Safer cars promised for regional kids

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NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina, Joshua Booyens. Photo David Lowe.

Young drivers in the Ballina electorate will be given a cash incentive to help them buy a newer, safer vehicle, under a program announced by the NSW Nationals, if the Coalition is re-elected in March.

The new Safer Cars for Country Kids program will provide a $5000 subsidy for up to 1,000 young drivers to help them purchase a safer car.

Nationals candidate for Ballina, Josh Booyens said this would help save lives in the region by getting younger people into safer cars.

‘This new program will help to get old and unsafe cars off our regional roads and make it easier for young drivers to get behind the wheel of a newer safer car,’ said Mr Booyens.

‘We want our kids to upgrade to a more modern vehicle with better safety features, like stability control, to keep them and others safe when driving on regional roads.

‘While country residents make up only one-third of the NSW population, two-thirds of all fatalities occur on country roads, that’s why we’re rolling out new initiatives that keep our kids as safe as possible on our roads,’ he said.

Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole. Photo Simon Haslam.

Trial in selected country areas

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the initiative recognised that young drivers are much more likely to inherit the old family car, or buy an older, cheaper or less safe vehicle as their first car.

‘Every parent wants to know their kids are in the safest possible car when they head off down the road, especially in the regions where they are driving longer distances and dealing with additional challenges like varying road conditions and wildlife,’ said Mr Toole.

‘This landmark trial will provide a helping hand to young drivers to buy a safer set of wheels – and give their families greater confidence in their safety every time they’re on the road.’

Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will first trial up to 50 young people in selected areas, before rolling out in phases to all regional areas across the state.

‘This trial will provide us feedback on what works and what doesn’t,’ said Mr Farraway.

‘If you’re under the age of 25, drive a car with a used car safety rating of 1 or 2 stars, or [a car which] is unrated and over 16 years old you may be eligible to participate in the program and upgrade to a safer vehicle,’ he said.

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  1. So the kids that get the most practice are the least competent and therefore we can’t have them driving around in cars with doughy old engines. This would be a boon to ‘informal rally racing’.

  2. Pork Barrel!

    The money would be far better spent on mandatory, ongoing, proper, defensive-driving courses that should start in early secondary school. It’s not *what* we drive but *how*, and with what awareness, that matters more.

    And are the proposed new, ‘safer’ cars going to be equipped with all the distracting electronic whizz-bangery that will keep young drivers alert and concentrating (not) on the task of controlling a motor vehicle and managing traffic?

    This promise of new cars is just pork-barrel nonsense!

  3. Sounds like Joshua and the Nationals are trying to buy the votes of the younger generation, they deserted the Coalition in droves last Federal election, and for good reason; try some more “pork-barrelling”, although Ben Franklin wasn’t very successful last time.

    • Mr Duncan might like to explain to the people who have lost everything in climate disasters-fire,floods and drought-why the ALP voted with the COALalition to turn OUR valuable rail line-worth many $billions-into scrap metal, ensuring that in one of the fastest growing regions in NSW and one of the larget tourist destinations in the country, we’ll get more filthy, gas guzzling vehicles on our roads creating more climate disasters and killing more people, as well as wildlife. Instead of spending less to get the trains running while reducing climate disasters. Train services would take millions of vehicles off our roads and also cost taxpayers less than building and maintaining new roads to create more traffic gridlock and emissions.

      WOW, the ALP REALLY care about reducing carbon emissions and the people who have lost everything in climate diasters.

      Wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath waiting to hear Mr Duncan or the ALP talking about that. Their too busy approving new CSG mining operations.

      • Oh dear Louise that is a typical nonsensical rant from the hypocritical, non-achieving Greens, the same party that in 2009 scuttled Kevin Rudd’s initial attempt at putting a price on Carbon (CPRS), you must be so proud of that masterstroke that ultimately sentenced Australia to a decade of total climate inaction and Tony Abbott as PM. And I am one of those people who almost lost everything due to a climate disaster, so don’t even try to lecture me on that one. And as for that railway line that is worth $billions and was going to take gas-guzzling vehicles of our roads, you are in cuckoo land with the rest of the ratbag Greens, no Govt in their right mind, (except for the crazy Greens) would have spent hundreds of millions of dollar on an out of date rail line that no longer services the present population growth. And as for approving new gas mines, what do the Greens not understand about the importance of keeping the lights on and the economy functioning and people in work, if this transition to renewables does not go to plan and the shit hits the fan it will be the ALP that gets kicked out of Govt not the irresponsible Greens. It wouldn’t be wise holding one’s breath waiting for the Greens to achieve what the present ALP Govt has done in the last nine months, we would all be dead in the rising water.

      • Spot on Louise !
        But it is so hard to talk sense in this climate of disinformation and ratbaggery, that I strongly suspect is paid, as so much of it comes from the usual suspects.
        Everything you have stated is of course undeniable, with the exception of the ironic statement that any political party
        REALLY care about anything but their self-interest.
        I am ashamed of the Australian people for allowing politicians to persist in their obvious intention to trash the welfare of
        all, in order to facilitate private profiteering. As is so starkly demonstrated by scrapping rail infrastructure to benefit the
        road-TRAIN millionaires.
        Cheers G”)

  4. And with that, all the leftists were magically transformed into Austro-Libertarians. If only that fiscal conservatism would last, but alas, it is just double standards. ‘Give them VW Beetles’ they cry, not realising it was leftist policies that made their production illegal world wide.


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