Guide Dogs Queensland is continuing to advocate for the Queensland Government to recognise blindness or vision impairment as valid criteria for the Australian Disability Parking Scheme, in-line with other Australian states.
“The current State Government definition of ‘a person whose ability to walk is impaired’ excludes Queenslanders who are blind and vision impaired, therefore preventing them from accessing the parking permit scheme,” Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley explained.
“New South Wales, the ACT and Tasmania already allow for disabled parking permits to be issued to the blind and vision impaired members of their communities. This allowance builds confidence and independence, and provides for much safer travel.”
Worryingly, a recent survey found more than 93 per cent of blind and vision impaired Queenslanders were concerned for their safety in carparks, while 58 per cent had experienced a ‘near collision’ in the past five years.
“This Queensland exclusion puts people in extremely dangerous situations as they have to navigate through traffic and avoid cars reversing out of parking spaces,” Mr Kightley said.
“We need to put the safety of our blind and vision impaired community first.”
An e-petition was lodged in Parliament in July 2018 with more than 2,300 signatures calling for change. The Queensland Government is currently considering changes to this scheme.