News

Disabled activist loses big

Sheila King faces court costs after Jetstar case.
Sheila King faces court costs after Jetstar case. Staff photographer

A 78-YEAR-OLD female disability activist from the Fraser Coast has been hit with massive court costs after losing her lawsuit against airline Jetstar.

Sheila King, who has also sued the Fraser Coast Council and other local organisations over disability access, sued Jetstar after the airline refused to allow her to board a flight because she was in a wheelchair.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Mrs King now faces significant financial hardship.

Mrs King booked her flight over the internet in August 2008.

She was contacted the next day and told she would not be able to take her flight on the booked day as there were already two passengers requiring wheelchair assistance on board - the maximum allowable under Jetstar policy.

She sued in the Federal Court, claiming Jetstar discriminated against her by treating her less favourably than a passenger who did not have a disability.

However, Federal Court Judge Alan Robertson found that Mrs King failed to select "wheelchairs" under a special section on the website.

He also found that the airline offered her another flight on the same route, but Mrs King refused.

"In my view Jetstar did not discriminate against Mrs King, being a person with a disability because of the fact that she ... possessed a wheelchair," Justice Robertson said.

Mrs King has been ordered to pay the legal costs of the airline, although this figure has been capped at $20,000 because the case was deemed of public interest.

Mrs King is no stranger to legal jousts.

In January, 2005, a defiant Mrs King told the Chronicle she made no apologies for action group Access For All Alliance costing local ratepayers more than a quarter of a million dollars.

This was the cost to council of refitting public toilets to confirm to guidelines for access for people with disabilities.

"It took us two years of negotiation ... before we took our case to the Federal Court regarding the toilets," Mrs King said at the time.

In August, 2007, in another case, Mrs King told the Federal Magistrates Court she felt "humiliated" and "astounded" when she was "shut out" of a public meeting in Burrum Heads.

Mrs King was suing Burrum Chamber of Commerce president William Gosewisch in a case that arose from a public meeting which took place at the Burrum Heads Golf Club in the lead-up to the 2005 Hervey Bay City Council by-election.

Mrs King claimed she and others had been excluded from a meeting at the Burrum District Golf Club due to lack of access.

The federal magistrate ordered Mrs King, from River Heads, and Hervey Bay's Robert Staff and Glenise Staff, a wheelchair user, to pay $13,445 after their claims of discrimination against Burrum Chamber of Commerce were rejected.

With regard to the loss against Jetstar, Joanna Shulman, CEO of Redfern Legal Centre, who advised Mrs King during her legal battle, was reported as saying Australia's discrimination laws were not strong enough to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

Topics:  airline court disabled jetstar sue



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

M'Boro teacher crowned region's educator of the year

Fraser Coast Education Alliance Awards - Michelle Gault.

Fraser Coast Education Alliance ceremony was held in Hervey Bay.

McCulkin murder trial: Jury retires to consider a verdict

Vincent O'Dempsey is on trial for the alleged murders of Barbara, Vicki and Leanne McCulkin.

Vincent O'Dempsey is accused of murdering the McCulkins.

Roadworks delay: business may be forced to lay off staff

Tinana bakery Pastry Creations owner Tracy Riley - doing it tough with the roadworks on the Bruce Highway.

The struggle continues for businesses affected by the roadworks

Local Partners

Disability worker shares her career with students at expo

For Tammy Watton, a natural instinct to help others turned into a long and fulfilling career in the disability sector.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

Kayla Schmidt, Charlie and Nitro at this year's Million Paws Walk. May 15th, 2016

Find out when and where things are happening this weekend.

Marking Maryborough Hospital's 130th birthday

A PIECE OF HISTORY: Nursing director Trish Spreadborough shows what it would have been like to care for patients in the early days of the Maryborough Hospital.

Learn about the rich history of the Maryborough Hospital

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!