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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 804..

Disabled persons-service station access

(Question No 464)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice:

In relation to disabled access at service stations:

(1) Is the Minister aware of how many service stations in Canberra still provide personal service to customers rather than self serve, if so how many stations and where are they located;

(2) Is the Minister aware that disabled residents who are able to drive vehicles find it difficult to fuel their cars as the vehicle is meant to be turned off upon pulling up at a bowser but disabled drivers need to leave the car running to get access to their wheelchairs;

(3) Would the government consider undertaking a feasibility study to look at the potential of providing disabled access lanes in fuel stations;

(4) If such a study found the concept to be feasible would the government look at working with the broader community in implementing such a program?

Mr Wood: The answer to the Member's question is as follows:

1. In March 2003, ACT Community Care identified sixteen service stations that provide driveway service to customers. Eight stated they provide full driveway service and another eight stated that they provide driveway service if a customer sounded their horn on arrival or booked a suitable time with the station prior to visiting. The list of service stations that offer driveway service can be found on local ABC Radio's website, or alternatively the Independent Living Centre, ACT Community Care can be contacted for a copy.

2. Disability ACT acknowledges that there are some difficulties for wheelchair users in accessing the bowsers at petrol stations. Leaving the engine running however could place both the customer and the operator of the petrol station in danger. As prescribed by requirements under the Dangerous Goods Act 1984, ACT service station operators are regulated in the storage and use of dangerous goods, including petrol. The regulation references a number of standards and codes of practice that provide specific details, which must be complied with in order to meet minimum safety standards. Under the Australian Standard AS1940: The Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids, customers must stop their engine while filling their vehicle with petrol, in order to meet minimum safety standards. Operators must also display adequate signage instructing customers to this effect.

3. The Government will not be undertaking a feasibility study to look at the potential of providing disabled access lanes in fuel stations. All drivers are not permitted to leave the engine of their vehicle running in the driveway at service stations, as it is illegal.

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