About half the train stations in Queensland do not comply with Federal disability standards, and many of them are only accessible by stairs. At Taringa and Auchenflower, navigation is practically impossible for people who use a wheelchair, older residents using a walking frame, or parents with prams.
Accessibility is an essential investment for our communities, with clear social, economic and health benefits. Everyone should be able to access our public transport system.
Alongside residents and disability advocates, I’ve been calling on the government to commit to full compliance by the 2022 deadline specified in the federal Disability Discrimination Act. During Estimates hearings in 2018, the Transport Minister admitted that the government wouldn’t meet that deadline. During Estimates in 2019, he said the government had not put aside any money for compensation claims made under federal law.
Frustratingly, the government says this acceptable because:
- Other States won’t either; and
- They have plans to upgrade some stations.
Even when all currently scheduled upgrades are completed, less than 60% of Queensland's train stations will comply with the standards. There are plans to upgrade Auchenflower Station which seem likely to commence soon, but Taringa, which is right next to a new private hospital, isn’t even on the list of funded upgrades.
You can read my most recent letter to the Minister, asking him again to schedule urgent upgrades for Taringa and stop avoiding a commitment to full compliance with the federal accessibility standards, here.
Right now, what’s missing is political will. If you’re affected or concerned by our inaccessible train stations, please sign my petition below, and write to the Transport Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking him to commit to 100% accessibility by 2022.
Check out the video I made with visiting WA Senator Jordon Steele-John, who was shocked at the state of our stations here!
PETITION to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey MP and the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland:
Currently, more than half of the state’s train stations do not comply with federal disability standards for public transport. These standards mandate that all stations in Queensland must be upgraded by 2022. There is still no clear plan for how the government will get there.
The social and economic benefits of public transport accessibility are very clear, yet Taringa and Auchenflower Stations still have major accessibility issues. This excludes many members of our community from using the stations, hindering their access to the rest of our public transport network.
We understand both Queensland Rail and the Queensland Government are committed in principle to making public transport accessible for all. Now it’s time to turn this commitment into action. Accordingly, your petitioners request the Government fund and install accessibility upgrades to Taringa Station and Auchenflower Station by 2020. We also request the Government commit to a binding, fully funded plan to make all of Queensland’s train stations fully accessible.