RailCorp sued over disability discrimination

For almost two years, Graeme Innes AM has been urging RailCorp NSW to get
serious about its obligations towards rail passengers with disability.

Mr Innes (pictured below left), who is blind, has made repeated complaints to RailCorp about
its failure to provide audible announcements on trains. These announcements are
crucial because they allow passengers with vision impairment to know they are
getting off at the right station.

Mr Innes tried to resolve the issue through mediation, without success.
Now the Federal Magistrates Court will consider the matter at a hearing
commencing this Monday, 13 August.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is representing Mr Innes.
PIAC claims RailCorp’s failure to provide audible announcements is in in breach of federal disability
discrimination law.

‘Our main goal is
to have RailCorp comply with its obligations under the Disability Standards
for Accessible Public Transport 2002
,

said PIAC chief executive, Edward Santow (pictured below right).

‘Every citizen is entitled to use public transport services without
discrimination,’ Mr Santow said.

‘PIAC has taken on this discrimination case because we believe the law should
provide a fair and practical outcome for Mr Innes. Public transport should be
for all members of the public, regardless of their disability,’ Mr Santow
said. 

Mr Innes, who is the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, is pursuing
the case in his private capacity.

‘All I’m seeking is for RailCorp to do what they do for everyone who is
able to read print. That is, tell me where I am,’ Mr Innes said.

CONTACT: PIAC Senior Media and
Communications Adviser, Dominic O’Grady: 0478 739 280.

DIARY NOTE:

WHAT Edward Santow and Graeme Innes will deliver a media statement, outside the Federal Magistrates Court, before the hearing commences on Monday. They will be accompanied by other public transport users who are blind or vision impaired.
WHERE Outside the Federal Magistrates Court. Ground floor, John Maddison Tower, 88 Goulburn Street, Sydney.
WHEN Monday 13 August at 9.45am.
WHY For many years, passengers who are blind or vision impaired have been asking RailCorp to make audible announcements on trains. Attempts at mediation have failed. Now it’s time for court action.  

  

Photo credits: Top right, Flikr; above left, Graeme Innes, courtesy of Australian Human Rights Commission; above right, Edward Santow, courtesy of Brendan Esposito.

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