The Human Rights Commission will be asked to investigate whether Public Transport Victoria and the Level Crossing Removal Authority breached the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act when designing new stations for the Mernda Rail Extension.
Whittlesea council and Disability Justice Advocacy will write to the commission asking for the investigation into whether the lack of ramps at the elevated Hawkstowe and Mernda stations breach the act. Designs for the stations currently include lifts.
But Disability Justice Advocacy executive officer Trevor Carroll said the lifts would be unsuitable for many people with disabilities such as claustrophobia and autism.
“They are assuming that everybody can use lifts or stairs, which they can’t. There are people with intellectual disabilities, autism and psychological disorders such as claustrophobia who can’t use lifts.
“This is a $600 million project but they can’t find money for ramps.”
Cr Mary Lalios, who asked the council to request the investigation, said the Whittlesea community had been asking for ramps to be included for the two elevated stations for a number of months.
Mernda Rail Extension project director Graeme Chambers said the three new stations along the extension would comply with the disability discrimination act.