Greens aim at disabled segregation
A new plan seeks to stop disabled people being segregated from mainstream life by physical barriers.
The Greens want to spend around $1 billion making buildings and public spaces more accessible to disabled people, as part of a broader policy to improve the integration of disabled people in education, employment and housing.
Almost half of Australia’s four million disabled residents live at or below the poverty line.
“The reality for disabled people in Australia today is very different to people who do not journey with a disability,” Greens disability spokesperson and acting leader Jordan Steele-John told the ABC.
The Greens say Australia needs a wide-ranging, long-term plan to address gaps between disabled and able-bodied Australians, but some immediate steps are needed now.
Senator Steele-John said these steps should include spending $1 billion on an Accessible Infrastructure Fund targeting public buildings and spaces, $400 million for public transport infrastructure upgrades, and $5 million for an Accessible Nature Fund to increase access to nature and tourism activities.
“Imagine if we swapped out a building without a ramp for a sign that says: ‘Whites Only’,” Senator Steele-John said.
“Now if that was the case in Australia in 2019, people would be rightly outraged, yet that is the reality of an inaccessible community to a disabled person.
“It says: ‘Only able-bodied people past this point’, and that is simply not OK.”
The Greens would rely on one or both of the major parties to support their multi-billion-dollar plans, which the part suggests could be funded with revenue raised from increased taxation of multi-national corporations.