Tim O'Brien | Sep 9, 2008

NSW: ah yes kiddos, things are in a right old mess up here in the 'rum, buggery and the lash' state. Politically speaking that is. We've got the on-going mess we loosely call City Rail, the desalination cock-up, a budget with more bits hanging out of it than an octogenarian's underpants... and that's just the half of it.

You need a real gift for stuffing things up to have managed the scale of the stuff-up we've got happening here. (Kind of makes you proud, in a twisted sort of way.)

That's why we've got the new bloke, Premier Whatsisname... and a few new Ministers... ah... names escape me. No matter. The point is kiddos, as I was saying to the gorgeous Dolores (she of the 'kitchen sciences') just a few moments ago, when you let a whole lot of barking mad ideas off the leash, you just don't know where it will end. (Trust me, they'll be showing their arses from the windows for the next ten years – that's how the system works.)

Which – now pay attention here – which is why it is so bleeding surprising that there has been a sudden outbreak of smarts in the thorny old matter of motorcycle and scooter licencing. In NSW... now who would ever have thunk it? Not me.

Fortunately, the outbreak appears to be safely confined to the NSW RTA, so no need for panic. It must be something they're eating. ("Hey, these things taste like rabbit shit..." "See, you're getting smarter already.")

Normally, mention the word 'motorcycle' to a regulator, and they'll fall on the floor frothing at the mouth. So, believe me, I'm as surprised as you are in reporting this (and 'the Dirk' is not easily surprised), but the big news of the moment is that the NSW RTA has increased the cc capacity for automatic exemption from the Scooter License course.

Effective immediately.

Look, it's here in black and white, and I quote (from the Australian Scooter Federation): "The NSW RTA has increased the capacity from 125cc to 160cc for exemption from the pre-provisional course for automatic motorcycles and scooters. Riders of scooters less than 160cc will still need to attend and pass the pre-learner course (7 hours held over 2 days) and the Motorcycle Operator Skills Test or MOST (1 hour). However they will not be required to attend the 6 hour pre-provisional course immediately prior to the MOST." End quote.

You can pass it on to the cave rats at home.

Check out the new rules on the RTA's website.