Drivers, Disability

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure a question regarding driver’s licences for people with static disability and compulsory annual medical reviews.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: It has come to my attention via a local disability advocacy service that about 120 South Australian drivers with cerebral palsy are being made to undergo annual medical reviews by the Department of Transport in order to keep their private motor vehicle licences. It is possible that these medical reviews are unnecessary and may not even be required by law. Cerebral palsy is a static condition, which means that the impairment caused by the condition tends to remain the same throughout a person’s life. Cerebral palsy is a disability that either significantly impairs the ability of a person to drive a motor vehicle such that it cannot be done safely at all or it has little or no effect on the ability to drive. There is rarely any fluctuation in the impairment caused by cerebral palsy and, if there is impairment, it is probably caused by comorbidity.

It has also come to my attention that it is not only drivers with cerebral palsy who are being made to undergo unnecessary annual medical reviews by the department. More and more often we are seeing drivers with different types of static disability whose conditions of their private motor vehicle licence include them having to undertake annual medical reviews. My questions to the minister are:

1.Is the minister aware that 120 South Australian car licence holders with cerebral palsy are being made to undergo annual medical reviews?

2.How many other licence holders with other types of static disability are being made to undertake annual medical reviews, and what kinds of disabilities do they tend to have?

3.Why is the minister’s department practising a policy that may be unlawfully discriminatory?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I thank the honourable member for her very important question to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure on the subject of driver’s licences of people with disability, including cerebral palsy. I will take that question to him and seek a response on her behalf.

Ministerial Statement