Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2852 ..
In conclusion, I thank Ms Lee for this motion. It is an issue that I have been concerned about for a long time. I am very pleased that Minister Gentleman is also supporting it. I think it is great that we are all saying that, for the good of all of Canberra, and in particular the 20 per cent of Canberrans who identify as having some disability, this is something that we can all agree.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (6.15): I would like to speak on behalf of the Minister for Regulatory Services, who unfortunately is away today.
There are some touchstone issues for our community that, when raised, are able to stir the passions of the average Canberran like no other. Parking is one of those. There is always a paradox, as has been noted, that if someone cannot find a parking spot, it is because we do not have enough parking inspectors moving cars on. But if they get booked by a parking inspector, it is because we have too many parking officers out supposedly raising revenue.
One of the things that unites all of the views of Canberrans around parking is the concerns that most Canberrans feel when a person without a permit to do so parks in a disability parking space. We all know people who have mobility issues and who need the important amenity of disability parking. It is one of the essential services that we, as a community, provide to our fellow citizens with mobility issues to make their lives a little bit easier or less painful.
The abuse of disability parking spots by those not entitled to use those spots is plainly unacceptable. In this context, I would like to advise the Assembly how it is that Access Canberra enforces parking regulations, including the use of disability spaces across our city.
Parking enforcement runs the risk of being a dry subject, and one which does not lend itself to soaring rhetoric, though I do believe international parking conferences are actually a thing. Regardless of this, it is important that I make clear what it is that forms the basis for how we enforce all forms of parking across the city.
Access Canberra’s compliance framework sets out the objectives and principles for Access Canberra’s compliance and enforcement activities. The framework outlines the risk-based approach to compliance with relevant legislation in the ACT, and is intended to be a useful and transparent guide. Access Canberra applies this risk-based compliance approach to ensure that resources are targeted to where the risks of harm, unsafe practices or misconduct are the greatest, thereby strengthening its capacity to take action where the community, workers and the environment are most at risk.
There are three strategic objectives central to the role of parking operations. The first is safety. Many instances of non-compliant parking activity pose significant safety risks to the community. Indeed, it is largely for safety reasons that parking is forbidden in certain areas. Unsafe parking can pose risks to pedestrians trying to cross