Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1865..
government has ratified, states under article 20, personal mobility, that parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including by facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at a time of their choice and at affordable cost. The provision of accessible parking spaces is also promoted through principles expressed in a number of other articles.
In looking at an issue such as disability parking, we need to look at the rate of disability in the community. A People with Disabilities ACT report looking at employment of people with disability in the ACT public service notes that statistics show that about 17 per cent of the ACT population has identified as having a disability. Obviously not all people who identify as having a disability will have mobility issues, but many will. Currently the percentage of disability parking spaces provided is set at a minimum of three per cent. We also know there have been ongoing problems for people who use wheelchair accessible taxis, and I would not be surprised if a number of carers go above and beyond in transporting those they care for and require improved access to disability parking spaces.
Using public transport is also an ongoing difficulty for many people with disability, and using a car may be at times the only form of available transport. Around 30 per cent of bus stops in the ACT meet disability access requirement standards, which is quite a low level. On top of this, only half of ACTION's bus fleet are disability accessible. Understandably, this makes travel very difficult, particularly as there are many areas of Canberra that are not well serviced by ACTION.
TAMS has a commitment in line with the national disability standards to have 100 per cent of its fleet compliant by 2022 and 100 per cent of stops compliant by 2021. This target is some time away, and while it is of benefit and a positive to have these standards, we need to acknowledge that improvements need to be made in the meantime and that not all people with disability can use public transport.
I wrote to the former Minister for Territory and Municipal Services a number of times about how unreliable the timetable was in relation to buses turning up. We know that it is another issue in terms of people with a disability. Not only do they have to find an accessible bus stop, but then they need to coordinate that with the bus arriving.
Mr Coe: The real-time system is coming soon.
MS BRESNAN: That is right. But they need to trust that the bus will arrive, and that is where the issues occur. As I said, I wrote to the minister a number of times about this. Non-accessible buses would arrive when the timetable said it should have been an accessible bus. This is extremely disruptive for a person who already has mobility issues and creates great difficulty for people with disability in planning their day.
I will briefly refer to what Mr Doszpot said. I find it interesting that he said none of what Ms Le Couteur had in her motion addressed key issues. A couple of the issues he raised was about the number of car parks. We need to point to the fact that Ms Le Couteur's motion looks at increasing the minimum percentage, which would increase, by my calculations, the number of car parks. He also said the motion did not address the issue of parking spaces not being used legally. The motion actually states: