Disability Ministers endorse Australian Disability Parking Scheme
Disability Ministers today endorsed the eligibility criteria, concession provisions, and proposed timeline for the roll out of the Australian Disability Parking Scheme.
The Scheme has now been referred to the Australian Transport Council for its endorsement.
The Scheme will unify the almost 100 individual schemes that exist across Australia, and deliver a national permit, eligibility criteria and minimum concessions – making it easier for people with disability to use the system.
This 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.
At the Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Conference in Adelaide, Ministers committed to rolling out the new Australian Disability Parking Permit by the end of 2010.
They agreed to minimum standards to disability parking concessions, but the Scheme will allow states and territories to retain their own concessions if they are more generous than the minimum.
The Scheme will introduce a new national disability parking permit design, the Australian Disability Parking Permit, which will replace the different permits issued across Australia.
This will ease confusion for parking enforcement officers and will help permit holders travelling interstate.
Existing permit-holders will not need to be re-tested or to reapply to receive the new permit, but will receive it automatically by the end of 2010.
Disability Ministers also agreed to national eligibility criteria for the permit.
Application forms for the new permit will include a nationally consistent set of questions, but states and territories will make their own determinations about which applicants receive permits.
States and territories will be able to include their own diagnostic information to ensure specific medical conditions, such as blindness, continue to be recognised.
Once the Scheme was been approved by the Australian Transport Council, it will be incorporated in the Australian Road Rules and then each state and territory will amend their local laws and regulations, as necessary, to reflect the new arrangements.
The Australian Government has consulted widely with permit holders, medical associations, peak organisations and state, territory and local governments on the Australian Disability Parking Scheme to ensure we meet the community’s need.