'We're not second class': Advocate calls for fix to platform

PEOPLE with a disability are being treated like second-class citizens as poor public transport in Ipswich continues to restrict their freedom.

An upgrade to East Ipswich station has moved at a glacial pace since it was revealed by Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard at the 2017 election.

Only $50,000 of the $17.6m plan to make the station accessible for people with a disability has been allocated.

It is still in the design stage.

Inclusion Moves founder Geoff Trappett was surprised by the upgrade and said the government's priority should have been to improve the much busier Ipswich station.

"Given the much larger percentage of people that use Ipswich, that would make more sense," he said.

"I'd prefer taxpayers' money to be spent where it's going to have the most impact.

"Lift sizes at Ipswich Central are well below what is acceptable in this day and age."

Mr Trappett said low platforms meant it was more difficult for people with a disability to use Ipswich station.

"The train has got quite a large step down which means you need to use ramps and that causes all kinds of problems," he said.

The disability advocate remains frustrated at the treatment of people by government departments.

"People with a disability are a disempowered socio-economic group, generally," he said.

"Public transport is still an absolute issue. It's one of those baseline issues where if you don't have transport you can't get to your place of employment, it limits where you can live. It's one of those key issues that other issues fall from."

Mr Trappett wants the government to issue a firm timeline on when it will meet disability compliance guidelines at stations and on Queensland's botched New Generation Rollingstock trains.

"Anything less than that will show people with a disability are treated as second-class citizens," he said.



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