Renewal of disability permits called in to question

HOLLY FENWICK

disability park

Disability permit renewals are being debated within the disability community. Photo: Holly Fenwick

Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Kevin Cocks has questioned why people living with permanent disabilities are required to renew their parking permits.

All disability parking permits expire a maximum of five years after they are obtained, regardless of whether a disability is permanent.

Mr Cocks disagrees with the current renewal process.

“If you’ve got an impairment and it’s permanent, you should only ever have go through getting a permit once,” Mr Cocks said.

“I can understand if someone might need a temporary one and might need a wheelchair or be immobilised for six months.”

Disability advocate and founder of ‘No Permit No Park’, Elisha Wright, said that the renewal process, though an inconvenience, is simple enough.

“Some people do take issue with the renewal process but it’s no different to renewing your rego or driver’s licence,” Ms Wright said.

There are no fees for renewing an Australian disability permit, unless your permit expired more than 3 months ago. If so a fee of $17.05 is applied.

Although Ms. Wright understands not everyone is happy with the process, she explained why it’s necessary.

“There’s good reason for renewing them; they fade, become outdated with technology that has been included to reduce fraud. It also prevents family members from misusing them when a person becomes deceased, if they have an expiry on them,” Ms. Wright said.

Ms. Wright went on to explain that the permits would be more successful in being used by the permit holders if the rules were enforced.

“There’s no monitoring or enforcement at all of people using someone else’s permit. Sadly it happens. Even though permit conditions state the permit holder must be getting in or out of the car when parked in a zone marked for permit holders only, there’s no way of checking,” Ms Wright said.

Eligibility for an Australian Disability Parking Permit (ADPP) varies from state to state. In Queensland you can only get one if you are unable to walk or your mobility is severely affected.

In the past there were more than 200 types of disability parking permits across Australia. Under the Australian Disability Parking Scheme there is one type of disability parking permit.

This permit will become the only permit available Australia wide as the system is streamlined. As current permits expire, people have to apply for an Australian Disability Parking Permit to replace it.

No changes will be made to current permit when the NDIS is introduced in Queensland.

 

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