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Accessible public transport.



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NEWS

RELEASE

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ATTORNEY- GENERAL ___________________________________________________

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THE HON DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP ___________________________________________________

4 October 2001 1066

ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Older Australians, people with disabilities and parents with infants in pushers or prams will find it easier to use public transport as a result of two measures the Howard Government is implementing.

The final draft Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport for public information will establish minimum accessibility requirements to be met by providers and operators of public transport conveyances, infrastructure and premises. They have been developed over several years with the benefit of extensive consultation with disability community, industry and government representatives. The Standards reflect a balanced outcome and are a good example of what can be achieved when people are committed to working together to make real progress in important areas of public interest

The Disability Discrimination Amendment Bill 2001, introduced into the Parliament last week, will allow the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to grant appropriate temporary exemptions from the Disability Standards. The Standards will come into effect when the legislation is in place.

The ability to grant exemptions from these particular disability standards is an essential part of the standards implementation process and is an extension of the Commission’s current power to grant exemptions from provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act. The amendment bill also provides that the Commission must consult a body prescribed in the Regulations before granting an exemption from the disability standards. The body prescribed for that purpose will be the National Transport Secretariat.

Together the Disability Standards and Amendment Bill are important demonstrations of the Howard Government’s commitment to breaking down the social and economic barriers faced by people with a disability or mobility problem and to promoting public awareness of this issue.

The final draft Standards and associated information is available at www.law.gov.au.

Media contact: Catherine Fitzpatrick (02) 6277 7300/ 0419 423 965 Join our media e-mail list and receive the Attorney-General’s media releases electronically. Subscribe at http://www.law.gov.au/ministers/attorney-general/mediamn.html