Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Newman puts disability access at risk

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas has expressed concern at reports that projects to improve access for people with disability are the latest on the Queensland Government’s chopping block.

It has been reported that a $3.3 million project to bring Nambour train station to a standard that is compliant under the Disability Discrimination Act has been shelved.

“I am deeply concerned at reports that the Queensland Government is stalling this accessibility project on the Sunshine Coast,” Senator McLucas said.

“Disability access is not a luxury, it is a basic right.”

“It begs the question, what other accessibility projects are at risk?”

“We need to be working to break down barriers for people with disability, not providing further uncertainty.”

Senator McLucas said all governments, including the Queensland Government, have committed to a unified, national approach to improving the lives of people with disability, their families and carers.

“Improving public transport accessibility for people with disability is an important element under the National Disability Strategy which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in February last year.”

“The agreement of the National Disability Strategy by Commonwealth, state and territory Governments was a major step forward.

The Strategy outlines a plan for all governments to address the barriers faced by Australians with disability and ensure that mainstream services and programs including healthcare, housing, transport and education, address the needs of people with disability.

Premier Newman has already indicated that Queenslanders with disability won’t be part of the historic National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“Our government is making a $1 billion investment in the launch of an NDIS; we are prepared to do the heavy lifting to get this done.”

“We will decide the locations of the launch sites with those state and territory governments that are willing to play their part in reform but it is becoming clear that the Queensland Government doesn’t recognise disability reform as a priority.”