By JR on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Rage instead of contrition in South Australia!
A STATE MP has expressed anger at being outed for parking illegally for three hours in a disabled parking bay. However, Frances Bedford was not the only Labor politician accused of parking illegally last month, with pictures of Tony Piccolo's car in a bay reserved for the disabled also sent to the Sunday Mail.
Mr Piccolo apologised for parking illegally but said he was unaware anyone had been "inconvenienced by the location of my carpark".
The incidents have infuriated Dignity for Disabled MP Kelly Vincent, who said there was "no legitimate excuse" for people without a parking permit to break the law. "It's not OK for one minute or one hour - disabled people need these spaces and it's a form of human-rights abuse to deny them these spaces," the wheelchair-bound MLC said.
Ms Bedford was busted while attending a Community Health Forum at the Tea Tree Gully TAFE campus on Saturday, May 28. She was snapped packing up equipment around 4.40pm - three hours after the car was first spotted.
The Florey MP said the car had been parked illegally because the bay was closest to the building's entrance, although the photographs clearly show empty non-disabled parking spaces opposite. She said she was "really sorry" she subsequently forgot to move the car after her gear had initially been unpacked and taken inside.
She accused a supporter of the Liberal Party of taking the picture. "Has politics stooped to this sort of business now?" she asked.
Mr Piccolo's car was seen parked illegally while he attended the SA Annual Volunteers Recognition Awards function in Seaton on Tuesday, May 10. The Light MP said he had been a passenger in his car, which had been parked after he had been dropped off at the function. "I only became aware that the car had been parked in a disabled carpark when I was taken to the car to leave the function," the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier said.
Ms Vincent has called on Labor MPs to donate to charity the $253 fine that they would have faced if caught by a parking inspector for parking illegally. "What is really disappointing is that as MPs they are supposed to be role models and should uphold the law," she said. "What hope have we got with all those campaigns educating people about disability carparking when politicians won't adhere to the message?"
Disability Minister Jennifer Rankine has called on her colleagues and all motorists to show some respect to the disabled. "Disability parking spaces are reserved for good reason for those who need them and this should be respected by all other drivers at all times," she said.