Woolworths shoppers rage at new car park rule: 'Pure discrimination'

Not everyone is happy about a shopping centre's move to allocate parking to low-emission vehicles.

Video of parking spaces reserved for low-emission vehicles at a new Woolworths store in Melbourne's outer suburbs has triggered a segment of shoppers who have slammed the "woke" move. An Aussie TikToker shared a video from the carpark of the new Mernda Town Centre Woolies, sparking outrage among his 15,000 followers.

The clip shows a sign that reads "Reserved Parking" and "Low emitting fuel efficient vehicles only," along with Mernda Town Centre and Woolworths branding. The sign indicates that acceptable vehicles are those that expend a maximum of five litres of fuel per 100km and may include "fuel efficient vehicles, hybrids and electric cars".

Low emissions vehicles only parking sign at Woolworths carpark
Hundreds of Aussies have expressed outrage at low-emission only parking spaces at a Victorian Woolworths. Source: Facebook

Mr Lawson's followers were incensed by the concept, with the video attracting nearly 2,000 overwhelmingly furious responses. "I'll put my 13.75L/100km vehicle there thanks," commented one of many disgruntled viewers who plan to park their non fuel-efficient cars in the spots. Another described the parking policy as "pure discrimination, pure segregation".

Others roasted the idea of designated parking for low-emitting vehicles by saying their cars identify as fuel efficient and are therefore eligible for the spaces. "Gets a sticker for the V8... 'I identify as a EV'," wrote one viewer, while another added, "Both of my Ferraris and my GT Falcon identify as being that efficient."

Some viewers speculated financial motives were behind the "crazy" move. "Woolworths must have shares in Tesla," wrote one. "Guess I won't be shopping at Woolworths or any other shop that uses these carparks," added someone else.

Woolworths distances itself from signs

When contacted by Yahoo News Australia, a spokesperson for Woolworths said the low-emission parking spaces are an initiative led by centre management at Mernda Town Centre and that the Woolworths branding on the sign will be removed. Centre management for Mernda Town Centre have been approached for comment.

Tesla Model Y charges at a EV charge station
Aussie motorists purchased a record 33,000 electric vehicles in 2022. Source: Getty Images

Outrage misrepresents most Aussies

According to The Australia Institute, a record number of Australians are concerned about climate change at 75 per cent. Furthermore, 69 per cent want to see domestic action implemented "to help limit global warming to 1.5-2°C and achieve net zero emissions", suggesting the outrage directed at low-emitting vehicle parking spaces doesn't represent the wider population's views on the matter.

Although hybrid and electric vehicle uptake in Australia is still relatively sluggish when compared to other developed nations, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Aussie motorists purchased a record 121,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in 2022, with a 94 per cent increase in electric vehicle sales compared to 2021.

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