We’ve welcomed today’s announcement of a new $21 million fund launched by the State Government to improve and modernise Queensland’s Wheelchair Accessible Taxis (WAT).
Spinal Life Chief Advisor – Government John Mayo said the funding would help to improve a currently aging fleet of WATs and ensure wheelchair users in Queensland could continue to access safe and reliable transport.
“Spinal Life and the Taxi Council of Queensland have previously reached out to Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey about the need to inject additional funding into the state’s fleet,” Mr Mayo said.
“We’re very pleased that the State Government has recognised the importance of providing people who use a wheelchair with safe and reliable transport.
“While Queensland has one of the best fleets in Australia, without this kind of support, more and more vehicles would fall out of commission as they age, leaving less options for Queenslanders with a disability.”
The $21 million will be invested from 2019 to 2023 and will assist in funding the gradual vehicle replacement of wheelchair accessible taxis aged eight years or older.
Mr Bailey announced the funding today at the Australian Taxi Industry Association’s annual international conference.
He advised the funding will help put an additional 65 accessible taxis on the road, boosting the number of available vehicles by 10 per cent.
It follows an announcement earlier in the month that the State Government would pledge $6 million towards extending the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for Queensland NDIS participants for another 12 months, after it was initially set to end on 30 June 201.
The scheme extension was also welcomed by us, after a petition we launched on the issue received nearly 6,000 signatures.