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Australian Government shows commitment to accessible public transport.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT

AND REGIONAL SERVICES THE HON JOHN ANDERSON MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag

19 February 2004 012/2004

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT SHOWS COMMITMENT TO ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Amendments further clarifying the measures required by public transport operators to make their vehicles more readily accessible were tabled in the House of Representatives by the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services John Anderson said the tabling of amendments to the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) was a further demonstration of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to making public transport more accessible to people with disabilities.

“The amendments relate to systems to assist people with hearing and vision disabilities access public transport, as well as access paths, passing areas, lighting, spaces required for people with disabilities and boarding devices in aircraft, buses or coaches, ferries, taxis, trains, trams and other like vehicles,” Mr Anderson said.

The amendments, formulated by the Attorney-General under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, also bring the Transport Standards up to date with current Australian Standards set by Standards Australia.

“The Government continues to make progress in ensuring public transport becomes more accessible for people with a disability, as well as for the elderly and those travelling with young children,” Mr Ruddock said.

The amendments follow a technical review conducted by the Department of Transport and Regional Services into issues excluded from the Transport Standards when they were first introduced in October 2002. The review received input from the disability sector, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, state and territory governments, as well as industry.

The Department of Transport and Regional Services also commissioned a Regulation Impact Statement to consider the effect of the recommendations of the technical review. The Amendments, Guidelines and Regulation Impact Statement are available at: www.ag.gov.au/DSFAPT/welcome.html/

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Media Contact:

Paul Chamberlin (Mr Anderson) (02) 6277 7680 0419 233 989

Steve Ingram (Mr Ruddock) (02) 6277 7300 0419 278 715