Thursday January 24, 2019
Commonwealth Bank to improve accessibility of ‘Albert’ EFTPOS machines
The CBA has agreed to introduce a range of changes to ensure better accessibility of their touch-screen ‘Albert’ EFTPOS machines, and committed to accessibility in future product development, following legal action by PIAC clients Graeme Innes and Nadia Mattiazzo, backed by Grata Fund and supported by Blind Citizens Australia.
In settling the claim, the CBA has acknowledged the difficulty Mr Innes, Ms Mattiazzo and other Australians who are blind or vision impaired have experienced using Albert’s touchscreen technology to enter their PINs.
PIAC Senior Solicitor Michelle Cohen said: ‘New technology promises great benefits to consumers, but it has to be inclusive and accessible. This must be part of the design process from the beginning. We hope this case and the CBA’s commitment to accessibility in future product development sends a strong message.’
2019 Social Justice Dinner
Join us at the Social Justice Dinner on 7 March for a great night with MC Craig Reucassel, celebrating PIAC’s work with our partners and supporters.
The Social Justice Dinner is our main fundraising event for the year and supports the projects and cases we run to tackle barriers to justice for people who are vulnerable and facing disadvantage.
Guests will have the opportunity to win some fabulous silent auction prizes on the night.
Hearing next week on excessive and invasive police checks
PIAC will be back in court next week in relation to an important test case that examines the power of police to enter people’s property to conduct ‘bail compliance checks’ without a court order.
The case arises from concerns that police have been conducting excessive and invasive bail compliance checks, including late at night and multiple times in a night, without a court order or any reason to believe that a person is not complying with their bail conditions.
In December the District Court of NSW found in favour of PIAC’s clients, holding that police do not have the power under the Bail Act 2013
(NSW) to undertake bail compliance checks without a court order. The decision confirms that it is for a court to decide whether bail checks of this type are warranted and set limits on what is reasonable. NSW Police has appealed the decision and the case will be heard by the NSW Court of Appeal on 29 January. Read more about the case…
Religious Freedom Review – LGBT students left waiting
Late last year PIAC cautiously welcomed the long-awaited release of the Religious Freedom Review, chaired by Phillip Ruddock.
‘We are pleased to see the Government’s commitment to including religious belief as a protected attribute in anti-discrimination law. But the details of any Religious Discrimination Act will be crucial,’ said PIAC CEO Jonathon Hunyor.
‘Better protection of the right to religious belief should not come at the expense of existing protections against discrimination. There is a significant difference between providing people of faith with a shield against discrimination and creating a sword to allow discrimination against others.’
However, PIAC is disappointed by the Government’s proposal to refer the issue of discrimination by religious schools against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teachers and students to the Australian Law Reform Commission. More…
PIAC has started 2019 by calling for Commonwealth Parliament to pass the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018 in a submission to a Senate inquiry considering this issue. More details to come in the February eBulletin.
Welcome Chadwick Wong and Maddy Humphreys
We are delighted to introduce Chadwick Wong, Senior Solicitor in our Strategic Litigation team and Maddy Humphreys, our new StreetCare Project Officer within the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service team.
Chadwick Wong comes to PIAC from the Melbourne disputes team at Allens where for the last four years he has run litigation on behalf of asylum seekers. Chadwick was also the team leader and senior lawyer for the Justice Connect Homeless Law Program at Allens and has acted in disability discrimination, business and human rights, and other public law matters.
Chadwick was an Associate to Justice Mortimer in the Federal Court and previously worked as a policy advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the implementation of NDIS and asylum seeker policies.
As someone with her own lived experience of homelessness, Maddy Humphreys has been an active member of PIAC’s homelessness consumer advisory committee, StreetCare, for almost two years and represents StreetCare on the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness. Maddy will be working closely with HPLS Managing Solicitor Roslyn Cook and our StreetCare members, as well as the many stakeholders in the sector, to advocate for effective change to help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. More…