Back to Mythbusting

This year, while I am working mostly with my local community to develop ways to build better, inclusive communities, I plan to dedicate my time to helping bust some of the myths I have seen in my time since starting the No Permit No Park Campaign here in Australia. Some of the myths are old ones that have been perpetuated over and over but some have surfaced more recently due to a lack of information or clarification of information. The fault doesn’t entirely lay with the people sharing it. Disability Anti Discrimination law in Australia is deeply fragmented and mostly useless. It exists but breaking it is of little consequence (unless you’re disabled with a law degree and lots of time on your hands to push the issue through the process).

We’ve done some mythbusting before and much of it was due to common misinformation or questions asked by the public. If you have a question please feel free to ask. Best method is probably to contact me directly by email via fridayology@gmail.com so that I get it directly and can respond publicly. You will of course remain anonymous if you ask a question. I want to share the responses publicly because chances are if you’re asking, someone else is also wondering, so we can share it with more people and educate the community.

One of the things that I intend to address is the responsibility of disability parking inclusion and enforcement as it is one of the most difficult areas to understand due to the fact that it is covered by three levels of government and five areas of legislation.

I’ve spent the last three years studying the Access to Premises Standards and Disability Discrimination Act in Australia to better understand how they work and how they should be applied. We are all aware how much time we can waste complaining to people who have no jurisdiction or power to act on the issue. We need to refine that in Australia so that it is easier to raise discrimination issues and have them addressed…. with an actual consequence. The first step to refining the process is to understand how it works. After three years of study, and I don’t claim to be a genius but I’m not incapable of learning these things, I am still struggling to grasp how the process was intended to be successful when applied. There are so many ifs, buts, maybes and exemptions written into the legislation it makes it impossible to hold anyone accountable for discrimination against people with disabilities.

One thing I can tell you is that rest assured here in Queensland at least, I have badgered all levels of government and all objective departments into taking this more seriously than they have in the past and as a result we’ve seen some positive changes and progress. Still in almost four years, we’re still fighting the same battles. I’m still putting out spot fires while the wildfire rages away from me. This has a great deal to do with the continual changes in all levels of government. No sooner do I get through to one group, there’s an election and I have a whole new group of attitudes to change.

So stay tuned in 2017. I hope that I will be able to give you the tools and the encouragement you need to be a powerful advocate in your community. If nothing else I have learned that when a community identifies you as one of theirs, they respect your views much more than someone they may never meet.

Image: cartoon graphics of people shapes with conversation bubbles above them.

No more putting up with it.

We are done.
Done with being a silent many. Every voice rings out and carries. No we won’t just go back. Home without you hearing. The sound when the many say, we are done. – The Madden Brothers

Keep fighting the good fight.

Friday.

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Comments (1)

  1. Reply

    Well said, Elisha. 🙂

    At Accessible Parking Australia we’re in the preliminary stages of planning a series of test cases in State and Federal courts to try to establish legal precedents regarding the responsibilities of private property owners to ensure reasonable measures to enforce applicable laws and regulations so that only holders of valid Disability Parking Permits occupy accessible parking bays throughout Australia.

    The proposition to be tested is this (sorry it’s so convoluted — we’re talking about a complex subject here):

    “Under the terms of applicable laws, regulations and codes (including the Building Code of Australia) and Permits issued for their properties, and in order to comply with the minimum requirements in the ratio of accessible parking bays to regular parking bays (2:100 or part thereof in car parks adjacent to retail properties, hospitals, etc) there is an implied duty of care to ensure that only people with valid, visible Disability Parking Permits occupy accessible parking bays on those properties.

    If they refuse, neglect or otherwise fail to take reasonable action to ensure compliance, and the total number of accessible parking bays, including legally-occupied accessible parking bays, falls below the minimum mandated ratio per 100 parking bays — or part thereof — then the property owner is in breach of its Building, Development or Planning Permit (as the case may be) and is guilty of an offence under the terms and conditions of those applicable Permit/s.”

    More details are available in this safe, printable PDF document:

    http://accessibleparking.com.au/agenda-2017/

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