The State Government should introduce measures to ensure accessibility fiascoes like the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) train design do not happen again, according to a recent petition from Spinal Life Australia.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Powell said discrimination law compliance and confirming full accessibility should become a mandatory part of the process for all future infrastructure planning and procurement.
Mr Powell said a recent petition launched by Spinal Life Australia to introduce stronger procurement measures was signed by more than 2,200 people and will be brought to the attention of the Queensland Premier’s office.
“As the petition results and people’s comments have shown, we are certainly not alone in wanting to make sure that Queenslanders with a disability are not left out again,” he said.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is currently deliberating on granting the State Government a three-year exemption to discrimination laws to allow the NGR trains to run works are completed to make them fully accessible.
The NGR train design was the subject of much criticism for its accessibility issues, including bathrooms and passageways too narrow for wheelchair users.
Criticism was also directed at the guard cab’s location at the end of the train, 70 meters away from the platform centre where passengers requiring boarding assistance usually wait.
“The NGR train procurement highlights the need to ensure that all future infrastructure must be comply with discrimination law and are fully accessible before they leave the planning stage,” Mr Powell said.
“This is something we would be happy to work with the State Government on to the benefit of all Queenslanders with a physical disability.
“We are aware the NGR design procurement commenced with a previous Government, however learning from this issue will help us move forward as an inclusive and accessible State.”
The petition is available at http://chn.ge/2EjqwOK.