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 (email@example.com) asking him to commit to 100% accessibility by 2022.