Parking backlash: ‘Why should I have to put up with this?’
SHOPPING trips are hard enough for Brisbane woman Serena Jeanneret without finding having angry notes left for her on her car.
The Forest Lake woman has four children with special needs, and has a disabled parking permit for her 11-year-old daughter.
After shopping at Mt Ommaney last week, she returned to her car with her four children to find an anonymous note had been left on her vehicle.
"That you've abused your disability parking permit has not gone unnoticed!" the note read.
Ms Jeanneret said the disabled parking permit had been recommended by her daughter's paediatrician.
"Whoever wrote it could've come up to me and spoken to me, and I would've explained," she said.
"It's specifically for my daughter, and my daughter was there. When I don't have my daughter with me, it doesn't get used."
"I just thought 'why should I have to put up with this?"
Ms Jeanneret's daughter has autism, a speech and language impairment, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
"My daughter is just about the same size as me, and to try and hold onto her sometimes is not the easiest thing for me," she said.
"I've got a LandCruiser, and she's climbed on top of the roof in the past and I can't get her off. And she's got no road sense. This enables me to park closer to where I need to go."
Ms Jeanneret thinks she may have made eye contact with the note's author as she was walking into the shopping centre.
"I think it was an old guy who was parked next to me. He was coming out as I was going in. He gave me the stare and I think his partner had a walker," she said.
And this isn't the first time someone's taken the mum to task over her use of the disability parking permit.
"I have had the look before. I think they assume (the permit's) for me," she said.
"I have had people who've backed me in. They wouldn't let me out of a (disabled) car park because they didn't think I was entitled to the permit. I had the kids in the car and a man was abusing me saying it wasn't for me, had I stolen it. He reversed up close to my car like he was going to hit it."
Ms Jeanneret said she had had carers who won't walk her children 300m because they run on the road.
"When I got the note, I was exhausted. By the time I got out of that shopping centre, I got them all in, hopped in and found the note on my car. You kind of get that sinking feeling like, 'I know what this is about'," she said.
"It just adds to everything else you've got to deal with."
Ms Jeanneret said disabled parking permits aren't given out "willy nilly" and urged people to have some compassion.
"It just makes it that much harder on that person because people don't understand. You don't know what battle someone's fighting."