12 February 2013
DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER RESIGNS FROM GOVERNMENT BODY
The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes AM, confirmed today in a Senate Estimates hearing that he had resigned from a key government advisory body because there had been “much talking…..but little else”.
The Commissioner had been a member of the Government’s Aviation Access Working Group reporting to Transport Minister Anthony Albanese charged with improving access for people with disability.
Issues of concern to Mr Innes include lack of progress in addressing the “two wheelchair” policy of some airlines where by only two passengers using wheelchairs are permitted per flight and red tape for people with assistance animals.
I have raised these issues at successive Estimates hearings with the Commissioner. It would appear the Government has paid lip service to such concerns.
For the nation’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner to resign from a key government disability advisory body out of frustration is an extraordinary event.
It is to be hoped that Mr Innes’ act helps to focus the mind of Government.