A successful driver training program is helping Aboriginal people living in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields-Esperance regions stay out of trouble with the law and boost their job readiness.
Almost 1,600 Aboriginal people have already participated in the $5.5 million driver training program made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.
Attorney General Michael Mischin said the four-year program, now in its third year, taught participants road rules and how to drive safely and responsibly. They can then sit for the theory and practical driving tests.
"Figures from the Department of Corrective Services show that at any one time, about 60 Aboriginal people are imprisoned with driving without a valid licence as their most serious offence," Mr Mischin said.
"By making sure these people do have a valid licence, they will not be driving without a licence or driving under suspension, so they keep out of trouble. They've learned to drive safely, and they will be more appealing to employers."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the numbers represented a real change in the lives of the participants, particularly because a licence was a necessity rather than a luxury in regional and remote parts of the State.
"Royalties for Regions is investing in programs that support economic growth and vibrant communities in regional Western Australia," Mr Redman said.
"Through targeted social support and creating greater economic opportunities for Aboriginal people, all of Western Australia benefits."
Of the 1,590 people overall who have participated in the program so far, 687 people obtained a learner's permit, 337 people either gained or regained their licences, and eight people were trained to become driving instructors.
In Broome specifically, 237 people have taken part in the program with 64 gaining a learner's permit and 35 either gaining or regaining a licence.
Driver training has been offered in Broome, Lombadina, Kalgoorlie and Roebourne, as well as Halls Creek, Kununurra, Derby and some outer communities surrounding each of those towns. In October 2015, the training expanded to South Hedland.
Attorney General's office - 6552 5600
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700