Local councils in New South Wales have welcomed a new state and federal scheme to make parking easier for people with a disability.
Launched in NSW on Monday, the new Australian Disability Parking Permit is a joint project of the Federal and State Government.
The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW said the permit will help council rangers reduce fraudulent use of permits.
Local Government Association president Genia McCaffery said abuse of mobility parking permits was a huge problem for councils, with one third of permits being used fraudulently.
“Councils aim to create equal communities and it’s not fair that people with genuine mobility problems can’t get a parking space because people are abusing the system,” Cr McCaffery said in a statement.
“Hopefully the added security features, such as holograms and barcoding, will reduce misuse.”
Shires Association president Bruce Miller said it was in the best interests of both people with a disability and council rangers to have a single, national permit.
“It makes sense to have a uniform permit across the country, as it means people with a disability who live near state borders or are travelling interstate no longer have to worry about the permit being mistaken for an invalid one,” Cr Miller said.
“This universal permit has actually been the catalyst for a separate disability parking working group, looking at broader issues relating to enforcement of disability parking.”
More than 328,000 existing permit holders in NSW will receive their new permit from October 7.