The LNP is backing a call by 13 disability organisations for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to reverse its cold-hearted decision to scrap the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for people with disabilities.
An estimated 10,000 Queenslanders will lose access to low cab fares when the scheme is axed for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants on June 30.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the move would make it harder for those with disabilities to get to work, go shopping, access support services or visit their doctor.
"This cruel cut will make people with disabilities prisoners in their own homes," Ms Frecklington said.
"The LNP introduced the taxi subsidy in 1987 because we recognise many Queenslanders with disabilities can't drive a car or use public transport.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government should be ashamed that Queensland will soon be the only state in Australia without a taxi subsidy scheme."
The subsidy scheme provides half the cost of a taxi (up to a maximum subsidy of $25 per journey), as well as a $20 'lift payment' to drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis (WATS).
The axing of the scheme coincides with Queensland's NDIS roll-out, even though the NDIS does not replicate the subsidy and every other state has agreed to maintain their own taxi subsidy schemes.
Shadow Minister for Disability Services Minister Dr Christian Rowan urged Labor to think again.
"We should be helping people with disabilities become more independent, but this cut will only make them more isolated," Dr Rowan said.
"I'm appalled that Queensland, unlike other states, thinks it's OK to axe the tax subsidy scheme.
"Many of those who use this scheme are already struggling financially and struggling psychologically.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government is playing politics with the lives of our most disadvantaged Queenslanders."
A petition supporting Taxi Subsidy Scheme, signed by 5649 people, has been tabled in Parliament.
The petition was supported by:
- Able Australia
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Network
- Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia
- Blind Citizens Australia
- Disability Advocacy Network Australia
- Endeavour Foundation
- House with No Steps
- Inclusion Moves
- Life Without Barriers
- Macular Disease Foundation Australia
- MS Queensland
- Spinal Life
- Vision Australia
The petition can be accessed at: www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3108