Disability Commissioner intervenes in Murrays case

The Federal Court has allowed the Disability Discrimination
Commissioner, Graeme Inness AM, to intervene in Julia Haraksin’s discrimination
complaint against bus company Murrays Australia Ltd.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre
(PIAC) is representing Ms Haraksin (pictured above, centre), who is suing Murrays Australia after she
tried to book a seat on a Murrays Australia coach to attend a work conference
in Canberra. 

Murrays Australia told Ms Haraksin none of the company’s coaches could
take her because she uses a wheelchair.

PIAC Solicitor Gemma Namey welcomed the Disability Discrimination Commissioner’s intervention.

‘The Commissioner has not intervened in a disability discrimination case for some years, but does so in matters that may significantly affect the human rights of people who are not parties to the proceedings,’ Ms Namey said.

The complainant, Ms Haraksin, is not seeking financial
compensation from Murrays Australia.

Instead, she is seeking a Federal Court order directing Murrays Australia to comply with national disability standards that require transport providers
to ensure at least 25 per cent of their vehicles are

‘PIAC welcomes the
Commissioner’s intervention because the case against Murrays Australia has significant
implications for disability discrimination law and transport providers around Australia,’ Ms Namey said.

Murrays Australia has claimed that
modifications would cause the company undue hardship.

The case returns to
the Federal Court on 3 May 2011.

Photo: PIAC Solicitor Gemma Namey (l), Julia Haraksin, Chris Ronalds SC.

Media contact: 

O’Grady, PIAC Media and Communications Officer.

Ph: 02
8898 6532 or 0400 110169

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