LABOR SUPPORTS CALL FOR DISABLED FUNDING ACTION

Posted on 17. Apr, 2012 in News

The State Labor Opposition today joined protesters at State Parliament to condemn the Baillieu Liberal National Government for slashing $112 million from programs designed to improve access to public transport for people living with a disability.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and Shadow Minister for Public Transport Fiona Richardson today joined people with disabilities on the front steps of Parliament to support their call for the Baillieu Liberal National Government to reinstate the funding it cut.

In Parliament, Ms Richardson condemned the Baillieu Liberal National Government for slashing funding by more than 80 per cent for programs designed to improve access to public transport for people with disabilities in last year’s Budget.

“Today’s protest showed the enormous impact the Baillieu Liberal National Government cuts are having on disabled access to public transport here in Melbourne and in regional Victoria,” Ms Richardson said.

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

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

Ms Richardson 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 Liberal National 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,” she 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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