OPEN TO MISUSE
I WAS chairman of ACROD’s Access Committee for 10 years. During that time, we saw the Year of the Disabled and an all-out effort made to obtain more parking bays for people who were disabled.
Unfortunately, over the years it appears that the number and size of bays has deteriorated and there is little policing.
Since then, I have become confined to a wheelchair and now have first-hand knowledge of the difficulties people face when needing a disabled bay.
Quite often, I have to use a bay marked for “Mothers with prams” and have to agree that shopping centre owners have placed a value on bays in favour of who would spend the most.
The Building Code of Australia does need upgrading but who is going to do it?
Local governments want to be in control of our daily lives but then say they do not have the money to police or enforce the system and say it is another organisation that controls policing or will not allow access.
It is far too easy to obtain any type of ACROD permit. The screening process is certainly open to misuse mainly because the professionals supporting the applicant are very close to their patient/client and don’t know how to say "I can’t in all honesty support you” and explain why.
After all, they probably make their living from the applicant also.
It is too late for the National Disability Services to put the onus on more rigorous monitoring, the courts and fines.
They need to start at home to control the system. STEPHEN MOORE, East Victoria Park.