Page 2848 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Part of our work here is to ensure there’s greater compliance around the issuing of those permits because I think we’d all agree ensuring integrity around the use of those permits in limited disabled parking spots should be of concern to the community, is of concern to the community and the government will be responding. If you are using a disability park and you’re not entitled to, you are breaking the law.
I welcome the government’s review into mobility parking permits and the incorporation of smart technology which will assist in the identification of offending vehicle registration and ownership. Identifying the actual driver or whether they genuinely require a mobility parking permit may be somewhat more challenging and may come down to the judgement of individual inspectors in any given circumstance.
There is always anecdotal evidence or presumptions being made about someone with a valid mobility parking permit who is parking in a space and who, for all intents and purposes, to the reasonable bystander, appears quite mobile. On these occasions the abuse and criticism these people receive from bystanders who make snap judgements about observing “wrongdoing” can lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary confrontations.
As the Chief Minister alluded to, if someone has a family member with a mobility permit how will inspectors know that the vehicle so parked was driven there by the legal owner of that permit? And unless the parking inspector is there when the vehicle is being parked how will they know?
In response to whether demerit points have been considered as a deterrent, I was told that the JACS Directorate would investigate further opportunities to strengthen offences relating to the mobility permit scheme, including the imposition of demerit points.
Given the existing evidence and the views of people and organisations most directly affected, it is timely that the ACT government is taking a closer look at how we can improve the current system to ensure that Canberrans in genuine need of mobility parking spaces have access to them.
In bringing this motion today I acknowledge the work undertaken by Ms Le Couteur in the Seventh Assembly calling for more mobility parking spaces, for better design of these spaces and for increased enforcement of illegal parking. The design of mobility spaces has improved in recent years, and it is now time that enforcement measures were also updated and the eligibility of permit holders reviewed so that people who genuinely need access to mobility parking spaces have it.
The budget contained some encouraging indications that the government is committed to examining these issues, and I look forward to the government keeping the Assembly updated on the progress of the review. I also foreshadow that the government will move some amendments and the Canberra Liberals will be supporting those amendments. I commend my motion to the Assembly.