Filling up on petrol is a task taken for granted –but when you are not capable of doing so independently what options do you have?
SEEKING SUPPORT: Springdale Heights resident Elaine Baker says there should be better support at service stations for disabled people. Picture: MARK JESSER
Springdale Heights resident Elaine Baker asked this question when she moved into her home in 2014.
Mrs Baker, who uses a walking frame, relied on her neighbour for helpwhen living in Jindera and has had difficulty finding assistance since living on the Border.
“Me and my son drove around Albury-Wodonga looking for a place that will help me,” she said.
“A lot of the time staff couldn’t as they were the only ones in the shop, or they just said no.
“I’d like to stay living in my home as long as I can but I’m starting toget sofrustrated.
“I know in Albury-Wodonga, thereare a lot ofdisabled people –where do they go?”
Disability Advocacy and Information Service Inc. executive officer Martin Butcher said he often receives inquiries about petrol stations.
“We find there is an issue …some petrol stations won’t assist people,” he said.
“For some people it can be a barrier to using their cars.
“We find independent stations are usually better and people can build relationships with them.
“I know that there’s a Caltex Station in North Alburythat if you were to go and honk your horn theywill come out,” he said.
A Caltex spokesman said there were four “honk for assistance” sites on the Border –on the corner of Dean Street and Creek St, Thomas Mitchell Drive, Union Road and on Bonegilla Road.
He advised customers to check theavailability for the assistance with these stores.
Mr Butcher said more could be done to support disabled people.
“I would ask petrol stations totrain their staff to keep an eye out for people with disabilities and to promote any driveway assistance,” he said.
“Wedo get people from the Border unaware of anybody that will assist them.
“If they promote it, it will becomeknown,and ifyou provide a good service people will come and use it.”
Caltex services providing the driveway support across the region can be found by selecting the “honk for assistance” filter on the online store locator.
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