Public transport is for everyone, with no exclusions. I welcome the development of the Whole Journey: A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys in response to the Second Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and applaud the way it elevates the importance of the public transport journey for people with disability.
The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 identifies accessible public transport as a key factor in the capacity of a person with disability to participate in, and contribute to society and the economy.
In 2015, almost one in five of us lived with disability (4.3 million people) with around half of people with disability aged 15 to 64 years participating in the labour force. This is considerably fewer than those without disability. Better public transport can help change this.
A key theme to emerge from the most recent review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) was the need to work across government and other boundaries to improve the whole journey for people with disability. The Transport Standards enable public transport operators to demonstrate how discrimination has been removed from public transport services.
The Transport Standards also help to ensure Australia meets its international obligations. The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2008 reflects the Australian Government's commitment to promoting and supporting the equal and active participation by people with disability in economic and social life.
The Guide highlights that it is far better to consider the whole journey at the start of the transport planning process, and that this consideration can go beyond compliance with the regulations. A journey is made up of many parts, and every part must be addressed to ensure a successful outcome. By examining the journey from pre-journey planning through to public transport, return journey planning, disruption and supporting infrastructure, the Guide shows how each part can be improved and lead to a better outcome for people with disability.
This Guide was developed with the direct input of people with disability as well as input from those who will use it, such as transport planners, transport operators, architects, engineers, builders and certifiers. It is based on national research and in-depth consultations and workshops with stakeholders including disability organisations, public transport providers, all levels of government, service providers and other interested individuals.
I believe it demonstrates what can be done by working together and thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys.
I welcome the endorsement of the Whole Journey: A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys by my ministerial colleagues at the Transport and Infrastructure Council, and I look forward to working cooperatively with all jurisdictions to see what we can achieve as we embrace the whole journey of public transport accessibility.
The Hon. Darren Chester MP
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.