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 accessible.

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.

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

‘This 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