I’ve been campaigning for train station accessibility upgrades in Maiwar since I was elected in 2017. Since then, we’ve seen accessibility upgrades at Auchenflower Station that’ve allowed lots more people to take the train and access local amenities, including the Wesley Hospital.
Unfortunately, the State Government refuses to commit to accessibility upgrades for Taringa Station. Only accessible by steep flights of stairs, Taringa Station is inaccessible for people in wheelchairs, those with mobility issues, and parents/carers with prams. Taringa Station is a busy station used more than 40,000 times a month. It’s also very close to important community facilities including our federal MP’s office, a private hospital, a medical centre, a pharmacist, a pathology, the local shops, a church, and a park.
For years, the Labor State Government has put an accessibility upgrade at Taringa Station in the “too hard basket”. They refuse to even add it to the Station Accessibility Upgrade Program, despite apparently meeting their own criteria for upgrades. With no local busways on the west side, it’s even more important we have accessible train stations.
It’s time to let Transport Minister Mark Bailey know that there’s no time for excuses - we need an accessibility upgrade at Taringa Station now. Sign the petition to show your support.
The broader issue
This issue is being felt by residents across Queensland. Right now, many of our train stations statewide don’t meet legislated disability standards. That’s a significant number of train stations where residents in wheelchairs, those with mobility issues, and parents/carers with prams are unable to access their local train station.
Alongside residents and disability advocates, I called on the government to commit to full compliance by the 2022 deadline specified in the federal Disability Discrimination Act. In response to my Estimates question, the Transport Minister admitted in 2018 that the government wouldn’t meet that deadline. That deadline’s now long passed and we’re still waiting for accessibility upgrades across Queensland.
Accessibility is an essential investment for our communities. Everyone should be able to access our public transport system. Investing in these vital infrastructure upgrades has clear social, economic and health benefits. It’s about time the Government made it a clear priority.