After years of campaigning for all-abilities access to Redfern train station, Transport Minister Gladys Berejikilian has listened to the community and announced lift access will be built to one platform.
This is good news for a community that has been fighting far too long for the kind of basic access to services that other communities enjoy as a matter of course. I congratulate Lift Redfern and everyone involved in the campaign.
I have been working with the Redfern community and Lift Redfern for a long time on this issue. The City of Sydney officially supported the Lift Redfern campaign and in 2012 I tabled a petition from more than 10,000 people to have the issue debated in Parliament.
Until now both sides of politics have steadfastly refused to act. This move will be a great benefit to older community members, people with poor mobility, those with wheelchairs and also with prams.
Redfern Station is one the network's busiest with tens of thousands of local community members, students from Sydney University and workers from the Australian Technology Park moving through the station each day.
Although lift access to just one platform is not a comprehensive solution, it does represent good progress in recognising the importance of this issue to the community.
The NSW Government's Long Term Transport Master Plan calls for an upgrade for all of Redfern Station within the next five to 10 years. The Commonwealth Government also requires all transport infrastructure to become accessible to people with a disability over the next 10 years.
This would mean installing lifts from all platforms to the concourse and include improved accessibility within the station, as well as safer and more convenient interchange with buses and walking and cycling routes.
The Transport Minister has indicated a tender has been issued for a concept design to provide lift access to one platform, but a decision has not been made about which platform it will be located on.