International Assistance Dog Week gives us all the chance to recognise hard working assistance dogs that carry out a range of tasks to improve the lives of their handlers.
State Member for Morayfield, Mark Ryan MP, said this week, 2 – 8 August, was also a time to remind everyone that under Queensland law these specially-trained and certified dogs have the same access rights in public places as everybody else.
“This includes hospitality venues, shops, rental and holiday accommodation, taxis, aircraft, public transport and entertainment and sporting facilities,” Mr Ryan said.
“Assistance dogs can be almost any breed and size and their roles vary according to the individual needs of the handlers they support.
“They may not all be as instantly recognisable as guide dogs, which are often Labradors or retrievers, but they carry out roles that are just as important to their handlers.
“To identify a certified dog, just look for its harness or identifying coat which will have the round blue and white badge on it, or ask to see the handler’s identity card.
Mr Ryan said it was against the law for a person who relies on a certified guide, hearing or assistance dog to be segregated from other patrons, separated from their dog or charged extra.”
Under Queensland law, individuals can be fined up to $12,000 and corporations up to $59,000 for denying such access.
For more information call 13QGOV (13 7468) or go to www.qld.gov.au/disability/out-and-about