Vision-impaired gain access to parking permits

Traeger MP Robbie Katter, Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, Guide Dogs Queensland client Rhett Bryant and his guide dog Jeffrey, Guide Dogs Queensland general manager Jock Beveridge and Hill MP Shane Knuth during last year’s Disability Parking Reform Discussion held at parliament house, hosted by Mr Dametto.

VISION-impaired Queenslanders now have the ability to apply for a disability parking permit from today, after a mammoth lobbying effort to change the legislation.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said he was thrilled the “final hurdle had now been cleared” after the passing of a key Bill in parliament in July which paved the way.

“Thanks to this change, we now have greater equality in the disability parking permit system,” he said.

“It will mean so much to parents like Hailey and Chayd Brown and Taylor Blennerhassett, whose children have vision impairments, to have access to a safe and convenient carpark every time they go to the shops.”

Mr Dametto introduced his own Transport Legislation (Disability Parking Permit Scheme) Amendment Bill 2019 in parliament last October, which then resulted in the government introducing and passing their own Bill with similar amendments.

A survey of Guide Dogs Queensland clients found 92 per cent felt unsafe when moving through carparks and 58 per cent avoided going out altogether due to having to navigate these busy traffic environments.

“I was humbled to receive the support of not only the vision-impaired community but Guide Dogs Queensland and Hill MP Shane Knuth when I introduced my Bill last year. GDQ and Shane have long been fighting for this change,” Mr Dametto said.

“This issue should never have been one to start with but when everyone comes together focused on a single goal, it’s pleasing to know we can really make a difference.”

Nick Dametto MP