Disabled parking spaces at Tweed Hospital can only be used by ‘blue’ permit holders.
Disabled parking spaces at Tweed Hospital can only be used by ‘blue’ permit holders.

No parking allowed for disabled

AN 86-year-old war veteran with heart disease and severe osteoarthritis is one of many who will soon be unable to park in disabled parking spaces in NSW.

Currumbin resident Merle Carmichael holds a “red” Queensland disabled parking permit which allows her disabled parking access in Queensland.

However, as of March she will no longer be able to park in NSW, meaning she will not be able to access the Tweed Heads hospital disabled car park.

The new Australian Disability Parking Scheme will no longer acknowledge “red” parking permits, with only “blue” permit holders reliant on wheelchairs for mobility allowed to park in disabled parking in all States except Queensland.

“Consideration for Australia-wide disability parking should be a priority,” Ms Carmichael said.

“I rely on a walking stick for short distances and the assistance of my daughter.

“She or anyone else will be unable to drive me and park in NSW under the new rules without a “blue” permit, which I am not eligible for.

“I have heart disease and severe osteoarthritis.

“My walking stick gives me the support I need to enter and leave my car.

“I could not lift a wheelchair out of my car and I wish to continue to do my own shopping for as long as possible.”

Gold Coast City councillor Chris Robbins has consulted Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner in a bid to resolve the issue for residents living on the border.

“I have been asked to enquire whether it is poss- ible for the Tweed Shire to allow existing Queensland ‘red’ permit holders to continue to use their permits in Tweed, as many southern Gold Coasters have significant contacts and do a substantial amount of business in Tweed,” he said.

“It will certainly disadvantage Tweed businesses should these permit hold- ers have to change their long-established habits due to an inability to access disabled parking in the Tweed Shire.”

Cr Skinner is yet to respond to the request.



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