A company operating a coach service between Sydney and Canberra discriminated against a wheelchair bound passenger when it informed her that she could not book a trip as it had no wheelchair accessible coaches. The Federal Court found that the company breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DD Act) with respect to access to premises and the provision of services, as well as the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.
The facts were not in dispute. The applicant (H), who was born with brittle bone disease and was reliant on a wheelchair for mobility, telephoned Murrays Australia Ltd (a coach service operator) and asked to book a seat on a wheelchair accessible coach travelling from Sydney to Canberra. The person who took her call informed H that her booking could not be taken because Murrays did not have any wheelchair accessible vehicles. H made other arrangements to travel to and from Canberra.
H alleged that Murrays breached certain provisions of the DD Act by unlawfully discriminating against her with respect to access to premises and with respect to the provision of services. H also alleged that Murrays breached various provisions of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Cth) (Standards).