From The Archives

Students mark a milestone

By Shepparton News

January 3, 1974

The students this morning helped mark a milestone in the development of the Goulburn Valley Driver Training Complex.

The students, John Bailey, 18, and Dennis Dizon, 17, were the first people to start a learner driver course at the complex.

And after their first lessons on the $200,000 complex, both were impressed . . . and confident they could learn to drive properly and quickly.

Behind the wheel of a complex car, each went around the complex tracks under the watchful eye of an instructor.

Each navigated the corners, crossings, roundabouts and other hazards with the instructor’s help.

According to the complex teaching manual, each was given running instructions as he drove. “Turn the wheel gently now; not too much power; now straighten up; don’t rest your foot near the clutch; now check your rear vision mirror for any traffic behind . . .”

But the method pays dividends, each of the students was driving competently, although slowly, by the time the lessons were over.

The first two students marks the reality of a dream of former Shepparton police sergeant and now director of the complex, Eric Montgomery.

He began pushing the idea for a driver training complex to simulate road conditions for driver instruction about three years ago.

Late in 1972 a fundraising committee and later a committee of management was formed.

Since then the committees has raised more than $30,000, the state government has contributed $60,000 and councils throughout the Goulburn Valley have thrown their weight behind the project.

The result of this effort was that construction started on the complex during winter last year.

Now it is only weeks off final completion, with an estimated total cost of around $200,000.

Now all the complex needs is pupils.

Bookings can be made at the complex in Wanganui Rd or at 211 099.