Australia Post has been forced to explain after an employee was seen parking in a shared access area between two disabled parking bays.
In a photo believed to have been taken in Queensland, a delivery van can be seen sitting over the yellow diagonal markings of the ‘no parking’ bay which is designed for side access to vehicles. It is not known how long the van was parked for.
The irate photographer who posted the image to Facebook said the act “says heaps about the ethics of Australia Post employees".
“It is illegal to even stop in that area as it denies the disabled access,” he wrote. “It is illegal, quite simple really!”
Post splits internet
However his post has ignited debate online and divided users.
Some were quick to side with the poster.
“Maybe the reason is one, he didn’t care, two, the driver is moronic, three, he/she didn’t give a toss, or maybe all three,” one person wrote.
“What do they [the driver] expect someone in a wheelchair to do when they can’t get into their car?” another said. “Just wait there as punishment for being disabled because someone's too lazy to park further?”
But there were others who leapt to the driver’s defence.
“There could be a reason for him to park there” one person said, while another suggested that “some people might get confused”.
“[They] probably thought it was a loading zone,” they explained. Sharing a photo of a yellow lined loading zone, similar to the one in the Facebook image, they added that “some are marked like this”.
“I know the difference, but I’ve seen other couriers and delivery people park in the same spot. They should be marked differently in my opinion. Maybe blue like the disabled zone.”
But the original poster hit back. “It doesn’t say loading zone and the law is quite clear when it comes to disabled parking access areas. There is absolutely no excuse for parking there."
“They should really have a bollard in the middle to stop anyone parking there,” he added, “however ignorance of the law is no excuse and to hold a driver's licence you are expected to know the rules.”
Australia Post apologises
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Australia Post said it is investigating the incident.
“We sincerely apologise for the actions of this delivery contractor and any inconvenience caused,” a spokesperson said. “This lapse in judgement falls well below the high standards we expect of our team members.”
The spokesperson said “it’s especially disappointing given Australia Post prides itself on its commitment to inclusion and diversity both across our workforce and within our communities”.
“We will fully investigate and take appropriate action,” the spokesperson said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.