12th Apr 2018

A locally-owned Morwell business will now be able to support the training of more bus drivers for hazardous driving conditions in Southern alpine areas, thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

Mountain-Top Experience will offer training to local bus operators, increasing the number of providers who can transport visitors to Mt Baw Baw and supporting tourism in Gippsland.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said the provision of locally delivered Hazardous Area Bus Driver Training would help the Gippsland tourism industry and businesses attract, retain and train workers.

The funding is being provided through the $34 million Regional Skills Fund – a targeted, place-based regional skills grants program driven by industry, in partnership with the tertiary sector, working to build local capacity, resilience and support job creation.

Prior to this new training, there were no providers of Hazardous Area Bus Driver training in Gippsland, although this is a pre-requisite for drivers of vehicles seating 13 or more who frequent alpine areas.

The project includes development of curriculum and marketing for Hazardous Area Bus Driver training, and upskilling of Mountain-Top Experience staff members to deliver the training.

Mountain-Top Experience has been assessed and approved by VicRoads to deliver this training. Other Gippsland projects that have accessed the Regional Skills Fund include:

• STEM Sisters which helps create opportunities for girls in year 10 in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
• Berry Street Broadening Horizons project, which helps give secondary school students hands-on experience in local industries with a recognised workforce shortage

Mountain-Top Experience is a Latrobe Valley-based business, in operation for 20 years and offering 4WD adventure tours, mini bus hire, and transport to Mt Baw Baw.

Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“Skills and training are vital for local communities, and a skilled workforce is what’s needed to support jobs and keep our regional economy strong.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“Funding the Hazardous Area Bus Driver Training will enable Mountain-Top Experience to train drivers locally, as well as offer training to other service providers who drive to Southern alpine areas.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This is a really important announcement that will see more tourists experience the very best of our Southern alpine region. We’re providing opportunities to train, attract and retain workers right here in Gippsland.”