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Greens release plan to improve trains, beaches and public institutions accessibility

Back view of man in his electric wheelchair at underground platform waiting for train with motion blur of passing train in the background

Disabled person and spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services Senator Jordon Steele-John has announced the Australian Greens have released a plan to improve the lives of 4 million disabled people across the country.

Australian Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services Senator Steele-John said:

“On International Day of People with Disabilities, The Australian Greens are confirming their commitment to centering the needs and voices of disabled people.

“Right now, disabled people face many systemic barriers. Decisions that impact our lives are made without us everyday. Public buildings and public transport are built to be inaccessible, workplaces aren’t equipped to support us, adequate housing isn’t available and information is provided in formats that don’t meet our needs.

“All of these systemic barriers can be overcome, and I am proud to be announcing our Greens commitment to address these. The Greens are the only party with a plan to address these.

“Our Greens Accessible Australia plan will tackle the affordable housing crisis. Right now, so many people are experiencing housing stress. It’s especially dire for those who need accessible accommodation. The Greens will build 1 Million physically accessible homes across Australia and invest in accessible housing solutions.

“Catching public transport can be a nightmare, if not impossible, for so many disabled people. The Greens will invest $1 billion over four years to boost accessible public transport across Australia.

“The Greens want everyone to be able to enjoy outdoor places and access public spaces. That’s why we’re committing $3 Billion for an Accessible Infrastructure Fund, including $30 million for an Accessible Nature Fund. These investments from the Federal Government could be accessed by state, territory, and local governments to improve the accessibility of existing public places, and allow disabled people to enjoy outdoor places like beaches, parks, and other tourism spots.

“Our plan also will make our digital world accessible to everyone. We will restore funding to ensure the availability of AUSLAN interpreters and invest an additional $30 million over the forward estimates towards relay and translation services, and expand the regulatory requirement for audio description and captioning services to commercial TV.

“Working together, The Greens and the disability community have achieved many things. We’ve stopped the Morrison Government’s attempts at implementing Independent Assessment, successfully negotiated stronger confidentiality protections for people sharing their experiences with the Disability Royal Commission, and obtained justice for Thalidomide survivors.

“The next election will be closer than people think. Scott Morrison is only 828 votes away from losing majority government and on current polling, a power-sharing Parliament is the most likely outcome.

“In the balance of power, the Greens will kick the Liberals out and push the next government to make billionaires and corporations pay their fair share of tax so all people are supported to live a good life and able to access education, housing, and public spaces.

The Greens will:

  • Make our physical world accessible to everyone by investing in public transport, schools, hospitals, nature play spaces, and other public infrastructure to make them physically accessible.
  • Increase support for the advocacy organisations and intervention services that are needed to protect disabled people from abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.

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