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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Puppy transport training gets tails wagging

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Puppy transport training gets tails wagging

    Three mock bus stops have been unveiled to help blind and vision impaired people navigate TransLink’s public transport network, coinciding with new laws which come into effect today for International Guide Dogs Day.

    At Guide Dogs Queensland’s Training Centre in Bald Hills, Brisbane for the official unveiling, Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Amendment Act 2015 would make it easier for people with disability to get out and about.

    “The new law will benefit people with disability by enabling them to increase their access and participation in the community,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “For example, children with autism can be supported by an alternative handler, usually a parent, to control their assistance dog in public places and on public transport.

    “It will also protect people who rely on certified guide, hearing or assistance dogs from being segregated from other patrons, separated from their dog or being charged extra.

    “Individual operators of public places or vehicles can now be fined up to $12,000 and corporations can be fined up to $59,000, for denying public access to certified dogs and their handlers.

    “We’re committed to improving the lives of people with disability and we expect that the introduction of this legislation will do just that.”

    Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the replica bus stop installation would provide a training opportunity for blind and vision-impaired people and their guide dogs.

    “Guide Dogs Queensland provides a vital service to the community and we are very pleased to assist with the ongoing training the association provides,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “I would like to acknowledge and thank Pryde Fabrication for building the stops and generously donating $10,000 to the project.

    “The Queensland Government contributed $11,012 to the initiative which will give blind and vision impaired people added confidence to use public transport with their guide dogs.”

    Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dan English said International Guide Dogs Day was dedicated to recognising the unique partnership between a guide dog and its vision impaired handler.

    “It’s really great to see that this year’s International Guide Dogs Day will mark the realisation of many years hard work between Guide Dogs and the government on legislation and subsequent amendments to provide a law that meets the needs of today’s guide dog handlers,” Mr English said.

    “For Guide Dogs Queensland, these amendments are all about slashing red tape and lengthy administrative processes so our dogs can start changing lives for the better as soon as possible.”

    For more information on the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Amendment Act 2015 visit www.qld.gov.au/ghad

    Media Contact:                                  Minister O’Rourke’s Office                 3719 7184  

                                                              Minister Hinchliffe’s Office                 3719 7249