Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:40): I rise this morning to talk about the great work of the Metropolitan Traffic Education Centre, otherwise known as METEC, in Bayswater North in the federal electorate of Casey that I have the honour of representing. For over 40 years METEC has provided a safe closed-road training and education facility for particularly younger drivers. It is built on 10 hectares of land, has four kilometres of private roads and has all of the usual traffic features: intersections, traffic lights, roundabouts—everything required to provide an ideal learner training facility. Over those four decades METEC has saved countless lives by training many thousands of young people to drive more safely, many doing their courses prior to receiving their licences.
I have worked with and supported the centre for many years. It is playing a vital role in our community. All of us know the importance of teaching young people in particular safe driving and this facility provides an opportunity to do just that prior to young people getting their licence and travelling on the roads. I know that my colleague on the other side who represents a regional electorate will agree with me that particularly in outer suburban and regional electorates it is all the more important because young drivers receiving their licence can that very first day drive on dangerous country roads in dangerous conditions. So I want to pay tribute to the staff of METEC. During the last election I pledged that if the coalition was elected we would contribute a grant of $100,000 to enable them to expand their car control area, otherwise known as a skid pan. I am pleased that that funding will be forthcoming very soon, in the coming weeks and months. That will enable them to roughly double the size of their skid pan, as I understand it, and train even more drivers in a safer environment.