A ROCKHAMPTON businessman says a shortage of driving examiners in the region is costing people jobs, including big-paying roles in the mining industry.
Max Manley, director of Advanced Heavy Vehicle Driver Training, said he had 20 people waiting to sit for their heavy vehicle licence.
Most of these have jobs lined up to go to, either locally or in the booming resources sector.
It was thought the recent departure of Rockhampton testers had caused the Department of Transport and Main Roads to recently stop taking on new bookings in Rockhampton, though the department late yesterday said this was incorrect (see accompanying story).
Earlier this week The Bulletin, inquiring about a hypothetical test, was told no new bookings were being taken because of the loss of an examiner.
Mr Manley said the situation was getting worse.
"People are losing jobs because they can't get in for a test," Mr Manley said.
"We've got 20 people waiting for their tests who have jobs swinging on it.
"They are very frustrated.
"They have jobs waiting and have spent a lot of money to get their licence.
"They now have to spend more to (refresh) skills."
He stressed the situation was not the result of local management, who were good people. Instead, the problem was caused by those in power in Brisbane.
Adding to his frustrations is what he calls the government's "bumbling along" of a move to enable the private sector to administer tests. "They've been fiddling with this and it now looks like next year," he said.
After a report in The Bulletin earlier this week about the examiner shortage, 15 test spaces opened, of which Mr Manley was able to secure seven - still leaving 20 waiting.
Rockhampton driving instructor Peter Ceola said the department was looking to address the shortage of testers by training an office worker to become an examiner, splitting the position between the two roles.
"They are very frustrated. They have jobs waiting and have spent a lot of money to get their licence."