Disabled man still waiting almost two years after plea for special parking bays

ACCESS: Ricky Templer holds his disabled parking card with one hand and his walking stick with the other at the Solomontown boat ramp.
ACCESS: Ricky Templer holds his disabled parking card with one hand and his walking stick with the other at the Solomontown boat ramp.

After waiting almost two years for council action on disabled car parking at the boat ramp, Ricky Templer says he is “none the wiser” about what will happen.

This is despite taking his campaign to The Recorder and receiving an explanatory phone call from infrastructure director Kathryn Johnson.

Mr Templer, who sometimes needs a walking stick to get around, began his crusade on May 16, 2016.

He asked Port Pirie Regional Council to provide four disabled parking spaces near the ramp itself. “It is not a case of building anything – it is just paint on the bitumen,” he said.

“I like going out fishing in my boat. The problem is that I suffer with chronic arthritis. I have already had a knee and hip replaced.

“When I have to park my car and trailer so far away from the ramp, it takes me a lot longer to move about than able-bodied people do.

“I am a lot slower when I get back from fishing because the motion of the waves upsets the joints in my legs.

“This annoys other boat owners waiting for me to clear the ramp. I know most people would ask why I don’t just stay at home – it is because I like fishing just like the next man or woman.”

On May 18, 2016, Mayor John Rohde wrote to Mr Templer saying the request had been referred to Ms Johnson.

Last Wednesday, she said she was also considering “how to better accommodate rigging and derigging”.

“Disabled parking will be catered for, but I cannot say how many spaces there will be,” she said. “When the request was originally received, we were still carrying out the dredging works and foreshore upgrade. 

“The commitment was always given that the carpark layout would be reviewed when those works were completed – so that is now.”

It is not a case of building anything – it is just paint on the bitumen.

Ricky Templer, disabled fisherman

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