National campaign against proposed cuts to the Mobility Allowance for people with disability. Over 25 different groups, from across Australia have united to oppose cuts to vital transport funding for people with disability.
The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016 will restrict access to transport funding to only those eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are approximately two million people with disability of working age, but only 460,000 will be transitioning to the NDIS. The Bill will impact many people with disability without access to the NDIS, including those over 65.
“The changes, put forward by the Federal Government, will leave many people with disability without access to the transport they need to go to work, get an education and be a part of their communities,” People with Disability Australia advocacy projects manager, Samantha French said. The Mobility Allowance goes some way to address the additional expenses for people with disability who can’t access public transport. This small amount recognises that for many people with disability, current transport is often not accessible, forcing them to rely on taxis,” she said.
“People with disability need more access to transport, not less. Until the government can provide a public transport system that is accessible for all people, transport support for people with disability who are forced to use other means is essential. The current allowance should be increased, not cut as this Bill proposes.” “We are also concerned that this Bill sets a precedent for further cuts to essential disability supports by restricting access to them only to people with disability who are eligible for the NDIS. All of our organisations and the many people with disability we represent are calling on senators to vote ‘no’ on this Bill,” French said.
Better disability access for public transport networks: The Federal Government has released a consultation draft for a new guide to improve disability access to public transport systems. The guide is intended to be an important tool for policy makers, planners, designers, builders, certifiers and operators to think beyond compliance and the physical and governance boundaries of services.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester said stakeholder feedback was critical to ensuring the transport needs for those with disabilities were understood. “This is an issue that affects the entire community,” he said. “The final result will be better and far more accessible public transport systems throughout Australia that meets the needs of all members of the community.”
Submissions close on May 31, 2017. To make a submission visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au