Accessible parking push

Accessible parking push

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While newer facilities like Willetton Sporting Complex have upgraded AROD bays, Canning Deputy Mayor Ben Kunze is calling on local businesses to follow the city’s lead and upgrade their bays. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The City of Canning will undertake an audit of accessible parking at city-owned and controlled facilities, following a successful motion of notice by Deputy Mayor Ben Kunze.

While many facilities within Canning, such as the Willetton Sporting Complex, have adequate accessible parking, Cr Kunze said there were inconsistencies across the State.

“We need to do better as a society to remove barriers that prevent those living with a disability from going about their day,” he said.

“The availability of accessible parking can be the difference between whether a person is able to engage in their local community, whether it be their visiting a local shop, park, library or café, or not.

Regrettably, there are inconsistencies across the State with respect to where accessible parking is provided, and how the bays are designed, often due to the age of a premise.”

“We need to provide certainty to those who rely on ACROD bays that they will have a place to park when they visit a site, and it is therefore crucially important that we invest into bringing our infrastructure up to meet the current Australian standards.”

Currently there is no compulsion to upgrade ACROD parking bays unless there is substantial change in the use of the facility or a redevelopment that goes through the city’s development application process.

This has meant that many older businesses across our community provide older ACROD bays that may not be fit for purpose in today’s world.

Mr Kunze said that while he believed the Government needed to play a part, the city should set an example, which gained unanimous council support.

“Government needs to take legislative action to bring old sites up to modern expectations by considering a sunset clause that will provide landowners with a certain date to invest and comply – this could be supported with Government funding,” he said.

“Following an independent audit, I am proud that the City of Canning will be investing into upgrading its parking bays, to ensure our sites provide modern accessible parking, and I call on local businesses to do the same.

“Business owners and landowners need to consider whether they have appropriate accessible parking, and if not, look at investing into upgrading their car parking bays to ensure accessibility – it’s actually an investment into their own business by ensuring customers can access their site regardless of any mobility issues.”