OPEN TO MIS­USE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

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.

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