Park Centre in Victoria Park recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons. A large blue skip bin had been blocking a disabled parking bay for over a month, causing frustration and inconvenience for those with disabilities who needed to park in the area.
Thankfully, after Hawaiian, the company that owns the shopping center, was contacted, the bin was removed. However, the incident highlights a larger issue of ACROD (Australian Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled) bays being misused and abused.
ACROD parking bays are reserved for people with disabilities who have a valid ACROD permit. However, advocacy groups report that these bays are often used for other purposes, such as sausage sizzles, food trucks, and even skip bins. This misuse can cause significant problems for those with disabilities who need the extra space and accessibility that these bays provide.
Advocacy groups such as People with Disability Australia and Disability Advocacy Network Australia are working to raise awareness of the misuse of ACROD bays and encourage people to respect these spaces. By doing so, we can ensure that those with disabilities have the accessibility they need and deserve.
Advocacy WA chief executive Stuart Schonell stated that the problem is hard to police, and it's frustrating for those with ACROD permits who have to turn around and drive home when they can't find a suitable parking spot. The penalty for illegally parking in an ACROD bay for individuals is up to $500, but it's challenging to enforce this penalty when the offender is a skip bin or food truck.
It's essential to raise awareness of the misuse of ACROD bays and encourage people to respect these spaces. By doing so, we can ensure that those with disabilities have the accessibility they need and deserve.