Why this photo of a Stockland car park has sparked fury among shoppers

The accessible path leading to the entrance was blocked by several dumped trolleys with the bad behaviour being called out.

An Aussie shopper called out a common shopping problem, slamming the behaviour as “infuriating”.

Kimberley Drew, 31, was visiting Stockland shopping centre in Baldivis, south of Perth, on a Sunday afternoon, when she ran into a multitude of obstacles.

In a photo taken at 3.30pm, about a dozen trolleys from Coles, Woolworths and Kmart can be seen dumped on the pathway through the car park, blocking access for those who need it, including wheelchair users or parents with prams.

The outside of Stockland shopping centre in Baldivis (left) and the trolleys scattered on the pathway (right).
Kimberley Drew said dumping trollies on the footpath was "lazy" and a common behavioural issue. Source: Stockland & supplied

“Honestly, it is so common at Baldivis along the main footpaths, like in the image,” Drew told Yahoo News, questioning how anyone with their own trolley, or even a pram or wheelchair, is supposed to get through. “Absolutely, it is a problem.”

Slamming the act as “lazy”, Drew explained there is no need to dump trolleys as there's a trolley bay close by. She believes "it's a behavioural issue".

“There is a trolley bay at the end of the walkway where I took the photo,” she explained, “and one directly behind. They are so close that it [people leaving trolleys behind] is not due to inaccessibility of bays."

Social media outraged by photo

Since uploading the photo to Facebook, Drew’s post has sparked outrage among locals.

“Yes, it infuriates me too, it takes nothing to return a trolley,” one person wrote. “It’s just sheer self-importance and laziness,” said another.

“It’s my biggest pet hate of going to the shops,” commented someone else, while another suggested that video cameras should be put up to start fining people.

Others pointed out how inconsiderate it was with one shopper admitting "a disabled bay was taken up completely with trolleys" in her recent visit.

However, not everyone was on the same page, with several people saying there were staff paid to collect the trolleys.

A trolley bay can be seen on the left, just metres from the footpath where a dozen trolleys were dumped in Drew's photo.
A trolley bay can be seen on the left, just metres from the footpath where a dozen trolleys were dumped in Drew's photo. Source: Google Maps

Blocking an accessible pathway can 'ruin someone's day'

It is an issue also felt by Isabella Choate, Interim CEO at the Youth Disability Advocacy Network in WA and a lived experience advocate.

"People don't seem to understand that blocking an ACROD park (the name for parking spots for people with mobility issues in Western Australia) or an accessible pathway can ruin someone's day," she told Yahoo News.

“I use an ACROD at times and when I use it, often there are things in the way or people have parked there who don't have an ACROD. It makes it that much more difficult for me to go about my daily business, like going to the shops or the library."

She went on to say it's a "two minute job" for someone who's able. "But for people with disabilities, that messes things up for them, and it can take hours to wait for people to come back," she said.

Choate said poor behaviour "comes down to a lot of customers who don't interact with people with disabilities or those who can't see themselves as ever needing greater mobility”.

She said it's important to "practise empathy but also understand that people with disabilities aren't this ‘other’,” she said.

“We are the same as everyone else. We just want to go about our daily lives and we need some support at times to do so. I think it's about respect and it's about understanding the reason why we have accessibility and the impact that has on us and understanding what impact it has when that's taken away.”

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