Plans to place a limit on the number of mobility scooters allowed into Commonwealth Games venues is outrageous and discriminatory, according to the lobby group for seniors.
Media outlets have today reported that the Queensland Government is concerned about overcrowding at the Commonwealth Games and is considering implementing news laws which allow venue management to place a cap on the number of mobility scooters at sporting venues.
National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neill slammed the proposed limit on mobility scooters and said it was one of the most outrageous plans he had ever heard of and a ‘dumb’ response to the ageing of the population.
“If a venue reaches their capacity of mobility scooters for the day, will mobility scooter patrons be refused a ticket and told they can’t enter?” O’Neill said.
“I’d like to know just what government advisers were thinking of when they came up with these plans.
“We have just seen the national Parliament pass a most historic disability scheme, the NDIS, and now Queensland’s bureaucrats are saying they’re worried about too many mobility scooters clogging stadiums and other sporting venues.
“What kind of message does this send to our society?”
O’Neill said the plans could set a worrying precedent around the country.
“We are concerned that if they are looking to cap the number of mobility scooters at these events, is the next step capping the number of wheelchairs?” he added.
“It’s a scary thought and could set a worrying precedent for all public event venues around Australia.”
Under the Commonwealth’s Disability Discrimination Act, it is unlawful for public places such as sporting venues to be made inaccessible to people with a disability.
The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act says people should have access to any place that members of the public are permitted to use, including entertainment and sporting facilities.
According to a September 2012 report there were around 231,000 mobility scooter users in Australia.
Michael O’Neill is available for interview on 0448 125 898
Media contact: Casey-Ann Seaniger (07) 3233 9135
With a quarter of a million members Australia-wide, National Seniors is the consumer lobby for the over-50s. It is the fourth largest organisation of its type in the world.Read the full story... (off-site)