Page 2850 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 16 August 2017

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Holding a mobility parking permit allows people to park free of charge in government car parks and stay longer in time limited parking. This allows permit holders to stay in both on-street and off-street government car parks for up to two hours if the time limit on the parking sign is 30 minutes or less and for an unlimited time if the time limit on the parking sign is more than 30 minutes.

In the 2017-18 budget, to ensure the ongoing integrity of the mobility parking permit system, the government noted its intention to increase the penalty for the misuse of a mobility parking permit. The misuse of permits is unfair to genuine permit holders, undermines the effective operation of car parks, and costs the community. This measure is forming part of a broader review of parking in the ACT that is currently underway.

The number of mobility parking permits issued over the past decade has grown more than six times the population increase over the same period, with only a small fraction of this increase attributed to the ageing of the population. The concessions available allow permit holders to park all day for free in short stay parking areas. With so many permit holders, pressure is being placed on the availability of short stay parking in some high demand areas. This pressure will grow as parking becomes increasingly provided by the private sector, which normally does not provide the same level of concessions.

The government continues to respond to these pressures and other pressures on parking to identify solutions that respond to both long-term and short-term parking issues. Some of this work is underway through the review of the parking and vehicular access code in the Territory Plan to ensure that it is implementing the best practice in parking provision. The mobility parking permit scheme is also being reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate, meets the needs of its users and is sustainable in the long term as the scheme is utilised by more members of our community.

Considerable work has been completed and is underway to ensure that people who are mobility impaired are assisted when parking in government-owned parking facilities across the city.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (6.09): I am very pleased to speak about this motion today. As Ms Lee noted, I moved a somewhat similar motion back in 2012. I will just revisit some of that, because unfortunately it is still relevant.

As I noted then, ABS statistics suggest that 20 per cent of Canberrans have some form of disability, and it is clearly true that the ACT has a growing ageing population. While not every person with a disability has a need for a disabled parking space, a significant number of them do. Our current ACT standards are for three per cent minimum disability parking spaces. If you look at three per cent compared to 20 per cent, and you look at the demand for parking spaces for disabled people, it is bleedingly obviously that we are very undersupplied.

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