Access and Inclusion

The following issues have been raised by Spinal Life Australia who support people with spinal cord damage to live accessible, equitable and empowered lives.

Recently they held a workshop with the members living in the Moreton Bay Region to discuss the following ways to make our region more inclusive and accessible;

  1. Access and inclusion plans – review and update as needed in consultation with your constituents who have a disability, or create a plan if there is none
  2. Disability parking – ensure there are enough accessible spaces to meet demand, and increase regulation when these parks are used by non-permit holders
  3. Community connections – explore how residents and visits travel from their homes or accommodation to services and venues, including footpaths, kerb ramps, crossovers and pedestrian crossings, for potential infrastructure improvements
  4. Economic development – promote inclusive tourism opportunities and resources to improve skills and knowledge of local businesses to better serve people with a disability
  5. Transport – examine accessible transport options in our community including buses and taxis, and the connections between these options, so that people with a disability can access vital services such as healthcare
  6. Housing – actively encourage developers to deliver accommodation that meets or exceeds liveable housing guidelines.

In response I know that the Moreton Bay Region has a higher incidence of disability than the Queensland average, with 1 in every 17 people having a severe or profound disability requiring assistance.

Since 2011, this cohort has grown at twice the general population growth rate (2.4%) of the Moreton Bay Region…

It’s time for Council to take its next step on its access and inclusion journey and look outward not inward.

Council needs to further consider disability parking, transport and incorporating accessibility into design excellence standards.

Recognising these issues also is my policy that Council from 2020 will launch a Good Access is Good for Business initiative.

Council will aim to help small businesses and retailers become more accessible for people with a disability, older people, parents with prams and small children.

Council will develop a Good Access is
Good for Business guide that offers advice on how to make your business more accessible.

It will convey that providing greater access to all potential customers can build a stronger customer base and increase your revenue.

One example being by having lower counters and ensuring there is an appropriate circulation space for people in a wheelchair.

I will be proposing a new era of Business Development In the Moreton Bay Region and this will be one of many such initiatives.

Under my policy Council will provide matched dollar for dollar grant to small businesses within the region which meet the strategy criteria to improve the accessibility of their businesses.

As we know disability increases with age, our ageing population has significant implications for future rates of disability in the Moreton Bay Region.

Yes, Council has to address issues with its own facilities but it also has to lead the way and assist small business and the like to prepare the way for a more accessible and inclusive Moreton Bay Region.

As Mayor i’d working with PWD and community groups to ensure that our region is more accessible and inclusive for all of us.

moreton-bay-disability-advisory-committee-terms-of-reference

Access and Inclusion