Gympie’s vision impaired to get better car parking
VISION impaired Gympie residents will soon be able to have disability parking permits following campaigning from the LNP.
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Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said that the reforms were made after the LNP member for Bundaberg, David Batt, campaigned for the changes.
“He got the ball rolling on this issue,” Mr Perrett said.
“Currently a Disability Parking Permit provides access to parking spaces in shopping centres, hospitals, entertainment venues and on street.
“As a former Deputy Mayor of Bundaberg and police officer he witnessed the impact lack of access to parking spaces was having on the visually impaired.
“Eligibility is based on an applicant’s ability to walk and excludes the visually impaired.
“It’s obvious that without sight you can’t judge or evaluate risk in a busy car park.
“It’s still risky to negotiate around a car park even if you have a sighted dog.
“When the Member for Bundaberg first raised the discrepancy in early 2018 the government refused to introduce changes.
“The Transport Minister brushed it away saying there wouldn’t be enough parking spaces for the extra permit holders.
“It was a thoughtless knee jerk response.
“A review of the scheme only went ahead after pressure from David’s public campaign, including collecting 3200 petitioner signatures.
“After that review, the Minister admitted that applications would likely only increase by an estimated 14,400 or 7.5% of the current scheme.
“Selfish and ignorant drivers who don’t have a permit reduce the availability of spaces.
“From time to time I’ve seen people illegally parking in these bays across Gympie.
“Anyone parking in disabled parking spaces without a permit will be hit with higher penalties from August 31.
“Fines will increase from $266 to $533,” he said.