Labor backs national drivers licence scheme

Victorian drivers license. Image from VicRoads.
Victorian drivers license. Image from VicRoads.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has backed a national drivers licence scheme and called for an urgent meeting of the Australian Transport Council to end inconsistencies between transport authorities across the country.

The move comes after concerns were raised about disqualified drivers being able to reapply for licences in other states by deceiving authorities, risking the safety of other motorists.

Any shift could throw state-based roads and transport authorities into upheaval, with varying licence conditions, age restrictions and penalties across the country.

"I think there should be national licences," the former deputy prime minister said on Friday.

"We live in a mobile society now and the idea that people can shop around.

Mr Albanese called for "an urgent special meeting of the Australian Transport Council".

"All of the transport ministers around the country convened by Barnaby Joyce to sit down and say look, 'we actually have a crisis here'," Labor's transport and infrastructure spokesman said on Sydney's 2GB Radio.

"We have too many families who will remember Christmas forever because of the tragedies that have happened on the roads in recent days and weeks."

On Friday, the official holiday road toll hit 23 in NSW and six in Victoria.

The move to a national system could be fast-tracked by the support of all the states and territories for a Turnbull government proposal that will see them hand over the identities of millions of Australian drivers in a bid to toughen national security laws.

The national ID database will be used to monitor public events, but could transferred to a national drivers licence system with agreement from the states.

This story Labor backs national drivers licence scheme first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.