Access and inclusion creates a sense of place and belonging

Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to an inclusive community will be reinforced today when Mayor Bob Abbot officially launches council’s Access and Inclusion Plan 2011-2016.
Community Policy and Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council is proud to present a plan that aims to provide better access and inclusion opportunities across the Sunshine Coast that will benefit the whole community.
“The aim of the plan is to identify ways to reduce social, physical and economic barriers to create a more inclusive community,” Cr McKay said.
“Community consultation played an important role in the development of the action plan which is also available in audio, Braille and E-Text formats.
“The key issues identified during the regional community consultation included five main areas.
“These were broad and covered important issues such as parking and transport through to planning and services.
“The five year implementation timeframe of the plan will provide council with direction on addressing barriers faced by people with disabilities to enable them to move about our region with dignity, pride and independence.”
Councillor McKay said the plan follows on from the Access and Inclusion Policy which was adopted by council in October 2011 highlighting our strong commitment to social justice, inclusion and building communities that respect and uphold the rights of all people.
“I am also happy to report council is currently undertaking many services, programs and infrastructure projects that deliver on this commitment of providing an inclusive community,” she said.
“Council recognises that community members and visitors may experience barriers that inhibit or prevent their participation in civic and community life.
“Better access for all people encourages community participation in social and physical activities and is a positive reflection on our diverse, caring and inclusive community.
“At some point in our lives we, or someone we know, will need access to places that accommodates parents with prams and small children, the ageing population, young people and people with disabilities and mobility issues.
“Improving access and inclusion in the region has important benefits for the whole community as it creates stronger social networks and enhances a sense of place and belonging.“