Examples of councils making a difference
All councils have their own level of commitment to creating an inclusive community for all people. Some councils may have a strong focus on disability issues while for others disability issues may not be a priority yet. Different councils will offer different services or programs and in many cases the services that are provided have been created in response to community needs. Below is a brief outline of some of the services offered by some councils in Queensland: the Brisbane City Council, the Gold Coast City Council, the Johnstone Shire Council (now part of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council) and the Moreton Bay Regional Council incorporating Caboolture, Pine Rivers and Redcliffe Districts.
Brisbane City Council
The Brisbane City Council is slowly providing more and more services for people with disabilities, but with such a large city it does take time. Some of the current disability services include upgrades in public transport (train stations, low floor buses, Citycats and council cabs); libraries, community halls, and the gradual upgrade of footpaths and curb ramps. Access Brisbane is a Brisbane City Council/Community website which provides Brisbane mobility maps, stories, and a database of accessible places in Brisbane (as rated by people with disabilities).
Gold Coast City Council
The Gold Coast City Council works with the Disability Coalition and a Disability Taskforce to strategically discuss and advocate for improved services for people with disabilities in the Gold Coast community. The Department of Communities and the Gold Coast City Council are also supporting the development of the Gold Coast Queenslanders with a Disability Network and recent council projects include beach access points and platforms for people using wheelchairs. Also of use is a Community Resource Directory for those people in need of disability services and the Gold Coast Access online directory allows you to search or browse for accessible venues, attractions and facilities on the Gold Coast.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council
The Johnstone Shire Council (which is now part of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council) made enormous efforts in previous years to increase the accessibility of Innisfail’s town centre as part of a town beautification process. Take a look at our section: An example of an accessible town: Innisfail for more information on what the council and community members achieved together.
Moreton Bay Regional Council (incorporating Caboolture, Pine Rivers and Redcliffe)
The website for the Moreton Bay Regional Council has information on disability access. Each District has its own initiatives, programs, guides and services for people with disabilities. For example, the Pine Rivers Disability Program is committed to improve access through ramps and safe pathways. It has a directory of transport and in-home assistance programs. As Bribie Island is a very popular destination within the Caboolture District, a free Bribie Island Access Guide has been developed for people to request when visiting the area. Take a look at the Visiting Bribie webpage and scroll to the bottom for details on how to get the Access Guide.
These councils demonstrate commitment and a move towards making communities more accessible and inclusive for all people. By developing handy booklets and providing information for people with disabilities on their council websites, they show they value all members of their community and are willing to put disability issues on their agenda.