More Queensland Taxis to get new and improved wheelchair access

The Palaszczuk Government is making life more accessible for every Queenslander by making many more taxis wheelchair accessible, said Chris Whiting MP.

A $21 million, four-year Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) fund is now open for taxi operators to make their vehicles accessible.

“Queensland has a great history of providing and funding options for every Queenslander to get around in their wheelchairs,” said Chris Whiting.

“More than 600 wheelchair accessible taxis currently operate across Queensland but 35 per cent are now older than eight years.

“Under the funding, wheelchair accessible taxis aged eight years or older will be eligible for 50 per cent funding for gradual vehicle replacement from 2019-20.

“This funding will also help put an additional 65 accessible taxis on the road, boosting the number of vehicles available by 10 per cent.

“I see the full lives that everyone in our community can lead and opening up all transport options for wheel chair users is so important,” said Chris Whiting.

Rebecca Bellis, Co-Convenor of the Deception Bay Queenslanders with Disability Local Support Group said that using taxis is a necessity for many wheelchair users.

“I think it is great that the Government is supporting taxi drivers and the disability community.

“It is reasonable and necessary that people in wheelchairs who need accessible taxis have a greater ability to be able to access them,” Ms Bellis said.

The Palaszczuk Government has also intervened to extend the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants for a year after June 30 2019.

That is in addition to the $6.8 million allocated in 2019-20 as incentive payments for drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis to give priority to TSS members.

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