GRANT OF TEMPORARY EXEMPTION: MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT S.A. and OTHERS

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1992
SECTION
55(1)

By this instrument the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ("the Commission"), pursuant to an application under section 55 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ("the Act") on behalf of the Minister for Transport of the State of South Australia, TransAdelaide and the South Australian Passenger Transport Board ("the applicants") grants an exemption in the following terms:

1. The applicants are exempted until 6 November 1996 from the operation of section 24 of the Act, so far as it concerns lack of access for people who use a wheelchair, to the existing fleet of buses currently owned by, or operated by or on behalf of, the applicants.

2. This exemption applies subject to the applicants implementing the Action Plan provided to the Commission in support of the application for exemption.

3. This exemption does not affect the liability of the applicants for any act of discrimination other than as specified by paragraph 1 above.

4. Any person may apply to the Commission during the period of this exemption for the exemption to be extended or revoked.

Findings on material questions of fact

The decision in relation to this application does not depend on any findings on material questions of fact.

Reasons for the making of the decision

1. The Action Plan submitted in support of the application for exemption provides for reasonable mechanisms to achieve non discriminatory access to public transport services in a timely manner as regards access to buses for people using a wheelchair.

2. An exemption in the terms indicated by the Commission would promote cost effective resolution of issues in this area in a manner consistent with the objects of the Act.

3. The Action Plan submitted in support of the application for exemption does not provide sufficiently detailed commitments on other issues within the scope of section 24 of the Act to support a wider exemption as sought by the applicants.

4. The period of 9 months is specified on the basis that the applicants propose to submit a revised Action Plan within this period.

The following information was referred to in making the decision:

1. An application for temporary exemption dated 31 October 1995 on behalf of the applicants, and annexures thereto including the Action Plan referred to.

2. A submission from Disability Action Inc.

3. A submission from the National Federation of Blind Citizens of Australia Ltd

4. A submission from Disabled Peoples' International Whyalla Branch Inc.

5. A submission from the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity of South Australia .

6. A recommendation provided to the Commission by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

Review

Application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, for a review of the decision to which this notice relates by or on behalf of any person whose interests are affected by the decision.

Dated this 8 day of February 1996

 

CHRIS SIDOTI
Human Rights Commissioner
on behalf of the Commission