Market Victoria Melbourne Date Thursday January Circulation Page Number

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Market Victoria Melbourne Date Thursday January Circulation Page Number Powered By Docstoc
					                                                            Market:      Victoria Melbourne
                     Date:        Thursday, 19 January 2006 Circulation: 551,500
                     Page Number: 1                         Published: MON TO SAT
Size: 530.50 sq. cm. Edition:     First Edition             Editorial:   email the editor
                     Supplement: Main                       Item No:     P8991021
   ___________________________________________________________________________________




             THE SHAME
              OF IT ALL
             Compo claim on the cards after
             wheelchair shopper crawls to car
               Brendan Roberts

             A SHOPPING giant could                                                   confirmed last night.                        Sunday when Ross was alleg-
             face a compensation claim                                                  Ross Costa, 41, said he felt               edly told to get out of a hired
                                                                                      humiliated as shocked shop-                  wheelchair by a security guard
             after two disabled brothers                                                                                           at Westfield Fountain Gate.
             were ordered out of wheel-                                               pers witnessed the event.
                                                                                        ‘‘My sister was trying to carry              Mr Costa said he was forced
             chairs and one had to crawl                                                                                           to crawl 3m to the car while his
                                                                                      me to the car but I fell over and
             to his car.                                                              had to crawl along the ground,’’
               The family of Ross and Tony                                                                                         brother Tony, 45, was carried
                                                                                      he said.                                     by his sister, Sandra.
             Costa, who both have muscular                                              ‘‘There were people getting
             dystrophy, have not ruled out                                            into their cars who were just                  A senior Westfield represen-
             going to the Equal Opportun-                                             staring at me on the ground. I               tative hand-delivered a written
             ity Commission.                                                          was really embarrassed.                      apology to the Costas’ home
               If they decide to press on                                                                                          near Mildura late yesterday.
                                                                                        ‘‘I felt like I lost my dignity
             with the complaint, Westfield                                            because of a silly rule.’’
             could be ordered to pay com-                                                                                                 Continued Page 4
             pensation, the commission                                                  The incident occurred on




             Loss of dignity: Ross Costa, 41, and his brother Tony, 45, are comforted by their ill mother Maria, 74, after being
                              forced out of hired wheelchairs at a shopping centre. Picture: DARREN SEILER




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                                                           Market:      Victoria Melbourne
                    Date:        Thursday, 19 January 2006 Circulation: 551,500
                    Page Number: 1                         Published: MON TO SAT
Size: 40.79 sq. cm. Edition:     First Edition             Editorial:   email the editor
                    Supplement: Main                       Item No:     P8991021
   ___________________________________________________________________________________

                                                             Long haul: sister Sandra
                                                           shows the disabled car space.
                                                              Picture: JON HARGEST




  ____________________________________________________________________________________

  Try Australia’s easiest to use media release system at
  www.rehame.com/rehameconnect
                                                                                           1 300 652 111
                                                                                           CAL Licensed
                                                            Market:      Victoria Melbourne
                     Date:        Thursday, 19 January 2006 Circulation: 551,500
                     Page Number: 4                         Published: MON TO SAT
Size: 138.88 sq. cm. Edition:     First Edition             Editorial:   email the editor
                     Supplement: Main                       Item No:     P8991021
   ___________________________________________________________________________________




         Wheelchair
         men’s shock                    leged incident.               icy but would not rule out    centre’s good reputation
         From Page 1                                                                                had been tarnished.
                                          ‘‘For something like        going to the EOC.
                                        this to occur in 2006 is        ‘‘I’ll have to talk to my     ‘‘We live on our reputa-
            The female guard alleg-     appalling,’’ Dr Szoke said.   brothers and see if they      tion as a friendly shop-
         edly told the brothers                                       want to take it further,’’    ping centre,’’ she said.
                                          ‘‘It is a breach of the
         store policy prevented                                       Ms Costa said.                  ‘‘How are shoppers
                                        dignity and rights of dis-
         hired wheelchairs from                                         The brothers, from Eus-     going to feel when they
                                        abled people.’’
         being taken outside the                                      ton, 80km south of Mil-       hear this?
         centre into the car park.        When they arrived at
                                        the shopping centre, Ms       dura, were staying in Mel-      ‘‘We cater for lots of
            Westfield last night said                                 bourne at the time while      disabled customers and
                                        Costa went inside and
         it would change its wheel-                                   their sick mother was in a    I’m appalled that one of
                                        hired the chairs, which
         chair policy to allow users                                  Melbourne hospital.           them has had to go
                                        were escorted to the car
         access to car parks.                                           Ms Costa said the shop-     through this.’’
                                        park by a security guard.
            Westfield chairman          The guard had changed         ping trip had been plan-
         Frank Lowy, one of Aus-                                                                       Editorial, Page 18
                                        by the time they wanted       ned to lift the spirits of
         tralia’s richest men, is       to leave.                     her brothers.
         overseas and his office                                        ‘‘We just wanted to
                                          Dr Szoke said Westfield
         said: ‘‘He’s in another                                      have a day out, a bit of a
                                        could be made to pay
         time zone and we won’t                                       way for them to forget
                                        compensation if the family
         be bothering him now.’’                                      mum was sick,’’ she said.
                                        went to the commission.
            Shoppers said they                                          Westfield spokesman
                                          ‘‘That is one outcome,’’
         were outraged over the                                       Mark Ryan blamed an
                                        she said.
         injustice and insensitivity                                  over-zealous enforcement
         shown by Westfield.              ‘‘But other outcomes
                                        could be that Westfield       of the centre’s wheelchair
            Some Westfield Foun-                                      policy for the incident.
                                        agrees to give extra train-
         tain Gate retailers said                                       ‘‘This is just a total
                                        ing to its security guards,
         they feared customers                                        aberration that should
                                        apologise, or commit to
         might boycott the centre                                     never have occurred and
                                        changes to its policies.’’
         after the incident.                                          for which we’re very sorry
                                          Sandra Costa said the
            Equal Opportunity                                         and regret very much,’’
                                        family was pleased West-
         Commission chief execu-                                      Mr Ryan said.                      Frank Lowy
                                        field had decided to
         tive Helen Szoke said she                                      One retailer said the
         was appalled by the al-        change its wheelchair pol-




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  Try Australia’s easiest to use media release system at
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                                                                                                                      1 300 652 111
                                                                                                                      CAL Licensed