A Riverina family has been left frustrated after their son's driving test was cancelled with minimal explanation, despite stay-at-home orders being lifted.
Charlie Murphy, 17, was booked in for his driving test to get his P-plates on October 14, the Tuesday after the lockdown ended.
But, he got a call saying his test would be cancelled and he would not be able to rebook until a later date.
His dad, Brendan Murphy, said it was disappointing as it means he would need to continue driving his son from their home in Ladysmith to Wagga.
"The drama is the cost and time involved taking Charlie to work every day," he said.
"I don't get anywhere near as much work done as I should do, plus I am doing double the amount of driving going in and out twice a day.
"I have a contracting business, so it costs me thousands of dollars of lost time because I can't stop halfway through a job."
Charlie currently works as an agricultural mechanic, which includes fixing tractors and headers for a business in East Wagga.
Since December last year, he has worked there and saved up enough money to buy himself a ute, which now sits idle on the property.
"I am working Monday to Friday and sometimes Saturdays as well," Charlie said.
Mr Murphy said he was proud of Charlie for working to save up to buy a vehicle, which compounded the frustration with Service NSW.
He said it feels like there is little understanding that it is challenging for families in regional areas who do not have access to public transport systems.
"The ladies in town at the Wagga centre are good to deal with, but they have no control over what is happening," Mr Murphy said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Service NSW confirmed that it had begun a phased reintroduction of driver testing in regional local government areas where health restrictions have been lifted.
Limited testing commences from this Monday at the Wagga, Narrandera and Tumut Service Centres.
A Service NSW spokesperson said they are rebooking driver tests for priority customers, such as those subject to enforcement action who require a driving test and will contact other affected customers in the coming weeks.
"The safety of our staff and customers remains our highest priority," they said.
"All driver testers will be fully vaccinated, and customers will need to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated before taking the test or produce a negative COVID test result.
"Face masks, hand sanitiser and other personal protective equipment will also be required when testing."
Driver testing in NSW remains suspended across Greater Sydney and other local government areas still under stay-at-home orders.
Service NSW did not respond to questions about how many tests had been cancelled in the area since the start of lockdown.
The spokesperson said Service NSW appreciates how deeply disappointing the cancellations are but appealed for understanding as decisions are made according to the latest health advice.
"Service NSW will announce plans for working through the backlog and returning to normal service levels as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so," they said.
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