This photo was posted on the Sunshine Coast Police Locations Facebook page.
This photo was posted on the Sunshine Coast Police Locations Facebook page. Facebook

Police cop it after controversial disabled park goes viral

POLICE have defended their use of disabled parking bays at a Sunshine Coast high school after photos posted on the internet sent social media into a spin.

The photo of a police car taking up two disability parking spots at a Woombye school was submitted to the popular Sunshine Coast Police Locations Facebook page.

It led to a formal complaint with the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Disability parking advocate Belinda Cotton wrote to QPS and specifically the Ethical Standards Command about the photo.

She received a call from an officer at Maroochydore but said she was not satisfied with the response.

"I support police 100%. They do a brilliant job but this shows a lack of moral obligation and lack of interest in what to me is a very important issue," she said.

Should police be allowed to park wherever they want, whenever they want?

This poll ended on 27 November 2013.

Current Results

Yes - they're police and have to be able to get in and out of their cars at the drop of a hat.


It depends if they are responding to an emergency.


No way! I follow the rules so why don't they?


Only if there's no one else around.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Disabled bays can't be used randomly by anyone and there was no emergency situation here.

"I guess I wanted a little bit more recognition that something not right had been done."

A QPS spokeswoman said officers from Nambour were asked to attend the college.

She said police presence, including a marked police vehicle, had been requested to assist with exuberant Year 12 school students who were leaving the school grounds.

"The car park attached to the school had exceeded capacity due to the large number of parents, friends and students at this location to witness the Year 12s leaving for the last time," the spokeswoman said. "A guard of honour had also been formed for the students.

"A highly visible police presence was requested to ensure that young people excited about the closure of this chapter of their lives remained focused on road safety and driving, when they got behind the wheel, or got into cars with friends or family."

The spokeswoman said the officers were advised that the most appropriate place for the police vehicle to park, which ensured officers had clear visibility of pedestrians and traffic, as well as high visibility for departing students and motorists, was the disabled parking bays.

"Enquiries had been made to determine if the disabled bays would be required at this time with police being informed they were not needed, and indeed no one would be able to access them during this time as the road was temporarily closed."

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