Disability Parking Scheme starts in NSW
From tomorrow, people with disability in New South Wales will benefit from the introduction of the new national Australian Disability Parking Permit.
New NSW applicants will be able to apply for the parking permit from Monday, and around 328,000 existing NSW permit holders will be mailed the new permit from 7 October to replace their current permit.
The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said that the Australian Disability Parking Permit will replace over 100 types of existing permits currently issued by state, territory and local governments across Australia.
“The new national Scheme will operate more efficiently and give greater independence and dignity to many Australians with limited mobility who rely on existing disability parking schemes,” Ms Macklin said.
“The permit has enhanced security features, such as holograms and bar coding, which will help reduce abuse and make it easier for enforcement officers to recognise permits when people travel interstate.”
The NSW Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, welcomed the new nationwide permits and said NSW will continue to offer some of the most generous parking concessions anywhere in Australia.
“Current users of the system should be aware the existing disabled parking concessions will continue to apply in NSW. The new agreement has not changed this,” Mr Primrose said.
“The NSW Government has been in consultation with the Disability Council of NSW and local councils and will work with them through the roll out.”
The NSW Minister for Roads, David Borger, said local councils and the NSW Police Force, who are responsible for enforcement of disability parking, were aware of the introduction of the new permits and said that the new permits must be displayed correctly.
“To validate the new Australian Disability Parking permit, the NSW Mobility Parking Scheme photo permit must be inserted in the plastic sleeve,” he said.
“If you do not insert the NSW photo permit, your permit is invalid, so please ensure this is done to avoid penalties.
“It is also important to note the white plastic holder previously issued by the RTA can no longer be used.”
The next step in harmonising state and territory disability parking schemes will be agreement on a revised set of eligibility criteria for the permit, which is expected to be introduced in NSW in 2011.
Mr Borger said breaching any conditions of use can result in the new permit and the NSW photo permit being confiscated and/or revoked by the RTA.
The fine for displaying a permit in contravention of the conditions of use was more than $500.
“If you think someone is fraudulently using a permit or misusing a disability parking permit, you can report it to the Mobility Parking Scheme Hotline either by phoning 1300 884 899 or emailing Customer_Service_Centre@rta.nsw.gov.au,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, said permit holders will still be able to park in reserved parking spaces.
“The new scheme will allow people with recognised disability to park close to their destinations,” Senator McLucas said.
“The Gillard Government, along with each state and territory, have committed to ensure that no existing disability parking permit holders will be worse off under the new scheme.
“It is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to improving the lives of people with disability under the National Disability Strategy.”
The Australian Disability Parking Permit was designed following consultations in 2009 with stakeholders including permit holders, and was endorsed by the
Disability and Roads and Transport Ministers in each state and territory last year.
The Australian Government provided $3 million in the 2009-10 Budget to support the roll-out of the national scheme.
Further information on disability parking in NSW can be found at www.rta.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 132 213.
Information on parking concessions for each state and territory can be found at www.disabilityparking.gov.au