Australia’s “bail in” program for new drivers is on the brink of a boost, as the government aims to attract more drivers to the national transport system.
The program will see a maximum cap on new drivers being allowed into the country, with the government seeking to attract between 1,000 and 2,000 new drivers a year by 2020.
While the program is in its early stages, it is expected to generate $30 billion for the economy over 10 years, as it allows for people to apply for licences to work and earn money on the job.
“This is about bringing more Australians into the economy, and that is the big question,” Minister for Transport, Tourism and Regional Development Simon Birmingham said.
Bail-ins were launched in the US and Australia last year to attract new drivers to help the nation’s economy.
Australia has seen a surge in people seeking work as well as the introduction of driverless cars, which have seen demand for drivers rise.
Labor says the program will not be used to discriminate against people on the basis of disability or ethnicity.
However, the government has said it will look at whether the program should be expanded to cover people who are in the workforce and have no other option.
“We have to look at the full scope of the programs,” Birmingham said at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday.
Under the program, drivers will be given a one-off payment of $100, and will be offered an online licence for the first four months of their licence.
The first two months of the program are free, while a further $30,000 will be allocated each year for the next four years.
But the government said that if the program proved popular, it could increase the cap on the number of people allowed to apply.
It is likely to be used in areas such as regional areas and townships, which are more likely to attract people with higher incomes.
For those in the middle, it would likely allow the government to reduce the number from 2,400 to 1,400.
As a result, the maximum cap will rise to 2,500 drivers.
If the cap is breached, the Government will have to seek the advice of the Australian Taxation Office, which will decide whether the driverless car program is being used in a discriminatory manner.
A spokesman for the Tax Office said it could be a difficult task for the Government to determine whether the policy was discriminatory, but the department had been working closely with the Government and the industry to assess its impact.
“The tax department will review the impacts of the pilot and will seek to make a decision as to whether to extend the program,” the spokesman said.
“A decision on whether to do so will be made in due course.”
The number of drivers in Australia is expected hit a record low this year.
In April, it was reported that there were more people employed in Australia than at any time in the past 40 years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that more than one in five Australian workers were employed in manufacturing and construction in 2015, with more than 30 per cent of Australians employed in these sectors.
Despite this, Australia’s unemployment rate stood at 4.1 per cent in January, well below the international average of 7.6 per cent.
This is in contrast to the US, where the unemployment rate is 8.4 per cent, but has been on a rising trend for the past several years.