A major multi-billion deal between VicRoads and a consortium over the next 40 years, has announced its first modernisation update after 15 months of consultation with relevant employees, unions and stakeholders.

The partnership, which includes the Victorian Government maintaining overall ownership of VicRoads, but outsourcing the operations of licensing, registrations, and number plates, is set to generate $7.9 billion in upfront proceeds for the state. This funding will be invested in the new Victorian Future Fund to help manage the state’s pandemic debt.

Following competitive and robust market engagement a consortium of Aware Super, Australian Retirement Trust and Macquarie Asset Management was selected to deliver the VicRoads Modernisation process, bringing benefits to individuals and businesses – including upgraded customer service systems, better Custom Plates services and user-friendly registration and licensing.

This marks the first update of the joint venture, which had several complaints relating to the part-privatisation

Victorian Greens transport spokesperson, Sam Hibbins, called the the “sell-off” of VicRoads’ licence and registration functions putting “the interests of private profit over the public good”. 

“The lease will mean higher fees, lower quality customer service, and less jobs, lower wages, and conditions for workers for decades to come. It will put control over another public asset in private hands,” Mr Hibbins said. 

However, the Government is delivering on its commitment to protect the jobs of existing VicRoads employees, while creating more than 120 new jobs to oversee the partnership, support the IT modernisation process and bolster the Government’s road safety role. 

Continued ownership of VicRoads by the Government will ensure control over regulation and policy, data and privacy provisions and pricing of essential fees, with information to remain secure and stored in Australia.

Independent integrity bodies, including the Victorian Ombudsman and the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, will continue to provide oversight.

The Government will immediately deliver benefits for Victorian drivers through a package that will slash licensing and online testing costs and reward safe driver behaviour.

Under the changes, learners and probationary licences as well as online testing will be made free. Aspiring drivers and riders will save up to $51.40 in learner licensing and online testing fees. While probationary drivers will save up to $133.30 in probationary licence and online hazard perception testing fees.

Safe drivers who have not incurred demerit points or committed road safety offences in the three years prior to their licence expiring, will be rewarded with the reintroduction of a 25 per cent discount on their licence renewal.

The VicRoads Registration and Licensing business maintains registers of more than six million vehicle operators and five million driver licence holders, including cars, motorcycles, heavy vehicles and boats.

The joint venture partners have a strong track record of successfully partnering with governments to deliver services. The partners are Australian industry superannuation funds and long-term investors with combined experience delivering the New South Wales, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian land titles services, as well as data centres and telecommunications infrastructure.

Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, called the project a win for all Victorians. 

“It means a better experience for drivers and owners of cars, motorbikes, trucks and boats, and continued investment in VicRoads for future generations,” Mr Pallas said. 

“It’s a terrific start for the Victorian Future Fund, which will deliver major benefits for Victorians as we continue to recover strongly from the shocks of the pandemic.”

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll, said getting the learners and probationary licence is “one of life’s most significant milestones – and we will deliver them for free”. 

“The agreement protects the jobs and conditions of VicRoads workers and will see us create new roles, “ Mr Carroll said. 

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