Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
Section 31 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 provides that the Attorney-General may formulate standards in relation to the provision of public transport services and facilities. The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (the Transport Standards) were made under Section 31, and took effect on 23 October 2002. Information on the Transport Standards is available on the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department website.
Part 34 of the Transport Standards requires the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, in consultation with the Attorney-General, to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the Transport Standards. A review is required within five years of the Transport Standards coming into effect and every five years thereafter.
March 2013 sees the 20th anniversary of the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and in holding with this landmark achievement the Department is undertaking the second review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Standards) to examine how well public transport complies with the Standards' targets for disability access. We are now seeking comment on the Standards as part of this review and invite input from interested parties.
The Transport Standards operate under the Disability Discrimination Act, legislation which made it unlawful for people in Australia to be discriminated against on the basis of their disability.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Act, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has developed the 20 Years 20 Stories campaign. They have produced 20 fully accessible videos that tell the stories of people with disability and their experience with the DDA.
Maurice Corcoran is one of those people. He has spent 40 years in a wheelchair. Those years of heaving himself into and out of his private car have taken a toll on his body and he knew he would be relying on public transport in the future.
“In 1994 a person in a wheelchair couldn't get on a bus,” Mr Corcoran remembers, “That's when we decided that we need to be proactive and hold a protest and blockade one of the bus depots.”
Mr Corcoran was one of the first people to lodge a formal complaint with the AHRC under the DDA. He won the case against public transport providers, and his claim led to the Transport Standards being developed and passed into law 23 October 2002.