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Australia - Parking

There are specific parking permits available in all parts of Australia for those with disabilities and for organisations that provide transportation services for those with disabilities. The parking permits are valid nationwide and have a number of security features so that they cannot be cloned. The idea is to standardise the regulations and procedures regarding parking for the disabled in Australia. These new permits will automatically replace the old ones and a new one will be sent out to all permit holders.

You may be eligible for a disabled person’s parking permit if you have difficulty using public transport due to a disability or if you are an organisation that helps a minimum of four people with a disability. You may qualify for a temporary permit if it is considered that your disability is not permanent but you will not be able to have a temporary permit for a period of more than a year.

In order to apply you can simply download the application form from the website of the state government where you live. You will need the support and signature of a medical practitioner who can confirm that you have a disability. A fee is payable and this will vary from state to state. The fee should be sent with the application form. There is a separate form for organisations to complete and you will need to make a declaration that the permit will only be used when disabled people are being transported. If you need to renew a permit then you will be sent a reminder a few weeks before your current permit is due to expire. Permits are normally valid for a period of five years. Renewals take an average of two weeks to process.

If you have a permit that is lost or stolen then you need to write to the permits department to give the details and request a replacement. You need to include all the details of the applicant and the number of the permit that has been lost.

If you have a disabled permit then you are allowed to park for twice as long as is stated on the sign or for 90 minutes past the time allowed, whichever is the longer time. There are disabled parking spaces in all car parks and on public streets and permit holders have the right to park there. Some disabled parking spaces have a time allotted to them and this is binding, even with the permit.

A disabled parking permit will need to be displayed when you are parked in a disabled bay or other controlled parking area. If the authorities consider that a permit has been misused then they have the right to cancel at any time.

Parking regulations will vary from state to state but there are some basic rules which apply in all areas. In most areas it is an offence for any vehicle to be parked on a naturestrip. Many areas will have signs posted that give details of the time limits for parking in the area and these must be adhered to. There are fines for those who ignore these regulations.

There are ‘no stopping’ signs in place in many areas and these are designed to prevent any obstructions in the road. If you stop in this area you will be fined and as these areas are monitored regularly there is a good chance that you will be caught. Fines are also given if you park in a loading zone illegally or if you park in a disabled bay without the relevant permit.

Parking meters and ticket machines are in regular use, although mainly in the larger urban areas near to shopping areas, railway stations and other busy places. The cost of parking will vary from region to region and some car parks are run by private companies on behalf of the state government.

In some areas you may need a residential parking permit. These are generally in city centres where people may live in apartments and have limited parking facilities. The permits are designed to prevent commuters from parking there and travelling further into the city on public transport in order to avoid parking fees. In many suburban areas this is not necessary as most people have off-road parking at their own home.

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