The state government has introduced major changes to disability parking, including doubling fines and issuing more permits.
Those with vision impairment could soon be eligible for permits, while those found illegally parking in bays will soon face fines $533 (doubled from $266).
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey told myGC that harsher penalties should deter those doing the wrong thing.
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“It’s certainly noticeable that some people are out there doing the wrong thing, using the disability parking bays to their own convenience when they have no disability in any shape or form.
People need these bays to safely access their basic services, and when they can’t get in, it’s very difficult for them.
“We just need a great financial incentive for people to do the right thing, and if you don the wrong thing and you caught, it’s going to hurt,” Minister Bailey said.
The proposed changes will expand the permit scheme to include persons who are legally blind would mean about 18,000 more Queenslanders could be eligible to apply for a permit.
“The definition of vision impairment will be consistent with the Commonwealth definition and the one we use at Translink so if you’ve got a permanent vision impairment – or you can have a temporary vision impairment as well but there needs to be a documentation and process to go along with that,” Minister Bailey said.
The bill was tabled in state parliament yesterday, and will now have to undergo a parliamentary committee exploration.
Depending on the committee process, the changes could be in place around the state as early as mid 2020.