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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . .

Page.. 3460..

MR WALL: Chief Minister, what feedback has the government received on the changes to the way disability car parking spaces are designed and marked under the changes to the Australian standards relating to disability parking?

MS GALLAGHER: The feedback has been mixed, I think it is fair to say. There have certainly been those that welcome having more area to exit and enter their vehicles, for some people who have a particular disability, and there are others who find it more inconvenient. I think there has also been a concern about the efficiency of the utilisation of the space for some of those centres. I believe that at some point—and I will check this—Roads ACT stopped implementing the standard as it was, pending further advice. I will check that for you; it is in the back of my head, after some of the feedback we had from implementing the new national standard.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, how many disability parking permits are currently on issue and how many disability parking spaces are currently gazetted in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. I will take that on notice, although I recall that, in terms of the availability of disability car parking spaces relative to non-disability car parking spaces, we had the right balance. I think there has been some question about whether they are located in the right places—that is where there are more elderly people who may be using disability permits or mobility permits. We might need to look at the balance of them in certain locations. I understand that is being done as well.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, will the government increase the number of disability parking spaces and the way that disability parking spaces are allocated?

MR RATTENBURY: Madam Speaker, I might take that question on behalf of the Chief Minister. It is actually the responsibility of the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Okay, Mr Rattenbury.

MR RATTENBURY: I can inform Mr Doszpot and the Assembly that TAMS actually had a specific and dedicated meeting with a range of disability groups earlier this year to canvass the specific issue of whether there was adequate and suitable provision of disability parking spaces, including the issues around the new Australian standard and the feedback that we received on that.

At the time, certainly the provision of disability parking spaces in the ACT was above the standard ratio. We indicated to disability groups at that time, and I have also indicated to specific constituents, that where people feel there is a particular shortage—and I make this offer to all members—TAMS will go out and examine a particular shopping centre or location and further spaces can be provided. I have had a number of examples of that recently. Particularly where there are medical facilities, it is possible in specific locations to make those adjustments.

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