November 27, 2019
Fines for illegally parking in spaces reserved for people with disabilities will double from $266 to $533 under changes the State Government plans to introduce next year.
The number of Queensland disability parking permits is also expected to rise from 191,000 to 209,000 when people suffering vision impairment are added to the scheme for the first time.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the government planned to put the changes in place by mid-2020.
“Under current laws in Queensland, your eligibility for a disability parking permit is based on your functional ability to walk,” Mr Bailey said.
“Queenslanders with vision-impairment and their carers have shared their stories with me about how challenging it can be to negotiate busy car parks.
“They felt the current laws, which were introduced in 1998, ignored their situation and I think that’s a fair assessment.”
Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the expanded criteria for the parking permit scheme would define vision impairment consistent with the Federal Government’s Social Security Guide.
“This is a common sense recommendation that has come from an independent assessment of the current system our government started in February,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“The changes will bring Queensland into line with NSW and the Australian Capital Territory, which both include legal blindness as a criteria in their permit schemes.”
Mr Bailey said while fines for people illegally parking in disability parking spaces will double and demand for the spaces is likely to rise under the expanded permit system, he didn’t foresee any problems.
“We believe there are enough spaces to cater for that added demand, but we also need to hit the message home that taking up spaces reserved for people with a disability is unacceptable.
“It’s arrogant and selfish behaviour that the community does not support, and if you do it, you will pay dearly for it.”