Posted on 03. Apr, 2012 in Clayton Update

The Baillieu Government must reinstate disability funding to upgrade public transport infrastructure that it slashed by over 84% in last year’s State Budget, State Member for Clayton Mr Hong Lim said.

Mr Lim said that public transport users living with a disability were shocked to learn that in last year’s budget the Liberal Government slashed $112 million from programs designed to improve disability access.

“The Baillieu Government should be ashamed of its decision to slash funding for disability access by over 84 per cent,” Mr Lim said.

“For those entirely dependent on the public transport network the decision by the Liberal Government to slash funding is a cruel blow.

“The Liberal Government must ensure at the very least that the 2012 State Budget reinstates funding to the levels provided by Labor in Government.

“Disabled commuters deserve to be able to access platforms and trams and not be discriminated against.

“While Transport Minister Terry Mulder is able to jump on a low floor tram for a cheap photo opportunity, people living with a disability aren’t so lucky.”

Mr Lim said that Labor in Government had allocated an average of $33 million per year to upgrade public transport infrastructure to ensure that it was compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and could be accessed by people with a disability.

“The Baillieu Government’s 2011/12 budget slashed this funding by 84 per cent, providing only $20 million over 4 years or an average of $5 million per year,” he said.

“As a direct consequence of the Liberal’s massive funding cut, only 16 tram stops will be upgraded in 2011-12, nine less than the number completed by 2010-11.”

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