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Queensland Takes Guide Dogs Most Seriously

  • Published: 2009-07-07 (Revised/Updated 2015-03-18) : Disabled World.
  • Synopsis: Guide and assistance dogs have access to public places public passenger vehicles and planes according to Queensland legislation.

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Starting this very day in Queensland, all guide, hearing, and assistance dogs have access to public places, public passenger vehicles and planes; according to Queensland legislation. The Minister for Disability Services has placed tougher fines in relation to the new legislation which will begin on September first as well.

Starting this very day in Queensland, all guide, hearing, and assistance dogs have access to public places, public passenger vehicles and planes; according to Queensland legislation. The Minister for Disability Services has placed tougher fines in relation to the new legislation which will begin on September first as well. Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk stated; "The aim of the new Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Acts 2009 is to assist people with a disability to have independent access to public places with their assistance and guide dogs, including planes, taxis, cafes, restaurants and shopping centers."

I can only applaud. People with disabilities around the world will most likely join me in this applause; we have seemingly forever continued to fight for access to public places in society. There are many issues related to public access, from wheelchair ramps to Braille signs, as well as access for the guide dogs that are mentioned in this article today. Seniors in society will most likely be right there next to us, applauding as well.

While I cannot speak for shop and business owners in Queensland, I certainly can for those where I live in America. In America there would be some potential, 'to-do,' over such legislation and the presence of guide dogs in stores and businesses on the parts of shop and business owners. Minister Palaszczuk has also stated:

"Under Part 2 of the existing Guide Dogs Act 1972, people accompanied by a Guide Dog in public places cannot be discriminated against because of their Guide Dog. To enforce this, penalties for refusing access to a person accompanied by a Guide, hearing or assistance dog will significantly increase from $100 for an individual up to $10,000 and from $500 for a business up to $50,000 for a breach of the Act."

It is my very great hope that the police in Queensland are prepared to actively back up these penalties. I also hope that people with guide dogs in Queensland are prepared to turn shop and business owners in to the police for any violations. Most of all, I hope that the rest of the world is watching, so that other places in the world can follow the example being set by Queensland.

Minister Palaszczuk is taking a proactive approach by presenting a state-wide awareness campaign. She wants people to become aware of the importance of guide and assistance dogs and their role in helping people with disabilities. She wants people in the service industry to understand that these guide dogs help us to participate in society. Minister Palaszczuk, in support of the people with disabilities in her state said, "The Bligh Government is committed to improving the lives of people with a disability and increasing their participation in all aspects of community life."

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