Judge critical of bus company’s ‘flagrant disregard’ for national Disability Transport Standards

Federal Court orders in Haraksin v Murrays Australia have reinforced the success of Julia Haraksin’s claim of discrimination
against bus company Murrays Australia Ltd (Murrays). 

Justice Nicholas made the orders today, following a judgment on 12 March
2013. The orders confirmed that Murrays had discriminated against Julia
Haraksin (pictured) by refusing to accept a booking from her because it didn’t have any
wheelchair accessible buses.

Justice Nicholas
said Murrays was in ‘flagrant disregard’ of the Disability Transport Standards at
the time Ms Haraksin attempted to book her trip, in 2009.

The Disability Standards came into
effect in 2002. They required 25% of a transport operator’s public transport
services to be accessible by 2007 and 55% to be accessible by 2012. The
Standards also require all new public transport services to be wheelchair

Justice Nicholas
made an order that until 12 April 2015, Murrays must ensure at least 55% of its
fixed route services between Sydney and Canberra are wheelchair accessible, unless
its failure to do so is attributable to causes beyond Murrays’ control.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre
(PIAC) represented Ms Haraksin in her action against Murrays.

orders made today put all public transport operators in Australia on notice,’ said
PIAC Principal Solicitor, Alexis Goodstone.

decision reinforces a very basic principle: everyone has a right to equal
access to public transport.  Public transport operators cannot
discriminate against people with disability,’ Ms Goodstone said.

PIAC has been advocating for accessible
public transport for people with disability for several years, acting in cases
against Virgin Airlines, the NSW Department of Transport and two large taxi
companies, and most recently, RailCorp.

Contact: PIAC Senior
Media Adviser, Dominic O’Grady: 0478 739 280

Related content:

Court finds direct discrimination by Murrays Australia

Coach service operator to comply with disabilty standards

RailCorp announcements ‘reactive and haphazard’

Pin It on Pinterest