Went to see Cat Stevens on Monday night.

He’ll be 70 next year, but he’s still got it, that unique sound that made him a superstar.

It was great to hear all the old hits and some of his new stuff – but mostly the classics.

We got a message that afternoon to say to get to the venue early because security had been increased.

We did so and spent an interesting 60 minutes or so sitting in our car in the carpark, feeding our faces and washing it down with a couple of beers before heading downstairs.

At events like these it pays to get there early anyway and spend a bit of time finding the ideal parking space, which means something face out near one of the exit ramps.

Where we parked was directly opposite four disabled car spaces, that were set out in a 2+2 arrangement, clearly marked with four large disabled icons on the ground – just to be clear.

disabled parking scam out of control - ebully ndis inspiring - Disabled parking scam out of controlBut, you guessed it, that didn’t seem to deter some people.

A woman in a white Kia Sportage pulled up soon afterwards and after spending five minutes fussing around stuck a disabled parking permit inside the windscreen of her car.

But then, strangely, she took the permit off again and got out, returning a coupe of minutes later in a different shirt.

Then she changed her shoes.

She’d obviously come straight from work.

Eventually the woman left, but did not replace the disabled sticker.

We couldn’t work it out?

Next came a couple in a silver Triton dual cab ute who wasted no time pulling out their parking permit and whacking it on the windscreen.

Then they were off.

The third car to arrive, an old Holden Astra that had seen better days, was forced to park behind the other two.

The thing is, the Astra’s passenger was actually disabled and it took some time for the driver to get them out and into a wheelchair.

The whole thing would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad.

I should confess we have a disabled parking permit but we only use it when we’re taking my elderly father-in-law places.

I wonder if some unscrupulous types take things a step further and source a second hand wheelchair so they can obtain preferential seating?

I worked in the Parramatta CBD for a number of years where they have had parking meters for several years.

Both sides of the street next to us was lined day in day out with cars that had disabled parking permits displayed and therefore didn’t have to pay parking fees.

Many of the cars also had P plates, bonnet scoops and beefy chrome wheels.

You can’t tell me they were all disabled drivers?

I wonder what the Cat with his views on love and peace and understanding would have to say about it all?

“If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out?”

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.