Wheelchair user Julia Haraksin won a three year legal battle against Murrays Australia on Thursday, with the Federal Court ruling the bus company breached the Disability Standards and directly discriminated against Ms Haraksin.
Ms Haraksin tried to book a seat on a coach to travel from Sydney to Canberra in August 2009, but the company refused to accept her booking because none of the vehicles in its fleet were wheelchair accessible.
Instead, Ms Haraksin’s husband took time off from work to drive her to Canberra, where she delivered a paper at a conference.
Justice Nicholas found Murrays, which had a fleet of 154 vehicles, were in breach of the Disability Standards, which came into effect in 2002. The standards required all new public transport vehicles to be wheelchair accessible and for 25 per cent of transport operator’s existing fleet to be accessible by 2007.