The Palaszczuk Government has announced the members of an independent advisory council to advise the government on building better accessibility on transport and roads projects across Queensland.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey made the announcement in Parliament today and said the seven new members of the Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council (QATAC) would bring more than 100 years of experience to the table.
The group, which has worked in fields like accessibility, construction, government policy and law, will be chaired by retired District Court Judge Michael Forde, who was Commissioner of the NGR inquiry.
“The transport and roads infrastructure we build must be as accessible as possible for everyone,” Mr Bailey said.
“This new council will give a stronger voice to those with vision, hearing, physical or cognitive impairments as well as older people, parents with prams and youth groups.
“The Palaszczuk Government is proudly committed to providing accessible, safe and reliable transport for all Queenslanders.
“We’ve seen that with our half-a-billion investment to make train stations more accessible, $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project and $335 million program to rectify NGR trains to comply with national disability laws.
“Queenslanders have seen the consequences of failing to engage the disability sector under the Newman Government.
“The advisory council will help to make sure we won’t let that happen again.”
Assistant Minister for Regional Roads and Train Manufacturing Bruce Saunders welcomed the new members and said their input would be crucial in delivering the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to build the next generation of trains in Maryborough.
“This new body will provide frank, expert advice on how we can make our record $26.9 billion spend on transport and roads accessible for all Queenslanders,” Mr Saunders said.
“The establishment of QATAC will provide disability-sector representatives with an unprecedented opportunity for early and authentic consultation on all major transport projects.
Mr Bailey said making transport accessible was crucial so everyone can access vital services, appointments, work, school and recreation, and participate in their communities.
“That’s why we’ve established QATAC and why we continue to make accessibility a key focus at our train stations – by raising platforms, installing new footbridges with lifts and providing new accessible parking,” Mr Bailey said.