Discrimination Commissioner takes RailCorp to Court

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is representing Mr Graeme Innes AM who is suing RailCorp for disability discrimination. He alleges that RailCorp has failed to consistently provide audible announcements on trains, in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Mr Innes, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, commences these proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court today.

Since 2007, RailCorp has been required under the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 to ensure that audible station announcements are made on all trains.

Mr Innes, who has been blind since birth, has already lodged 36 complaints with the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding failures by RailCorp to have audible announcements on trains. Attempts by Mr Innes to resolve his complaints with RailCorp through the Commission have failed.

Mr Innes explains: “For a person who is blind or has low vision, such as myself, the major problem with catching trains is knowing what station you have reached.

“Missing the right stop means getting off at an unfamiliar station. Locating the right platform to catch a train back to the intended station is not just inconvenient – it can sometimes be extremely stressful, and is usually quite time-consuming.”

“This is a major failure by RailCorp,” PIAC CEO Edward Santow says.  “The fact that Mr Innes has made 36 separate complaints in seven months suggests the problem is systemic and ongoing.”

Graeme Innes says: “I am just asking RailCorp to treat me and other blind people in the same way as all other passengers – tell us where we are.”

MEDIA CONTACT: PIAC Media and Communications Officer, Keren Lavelle: 0431 485 335; Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes AM: 0412 369 963

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