Opportunity to improve shire's accessibility

Council is seeking expressions of interest from community and business members to join the Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Bruce Steer pool ramp.

Bruce Steer Pool ramp, Bermagui

22 June 2022

Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking expressions of interest from community and business members to join the Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Acting Director of Community, Environment and Planning, Emily Harrison said reducing barriers and improving accessibility and inclusion is critical to the future of the shire.

“Accessibility and inclusion are relevant for all of us, or those we care about, at some point in our lives,” Ms Harrison said.

“Accessibility not only has benefits for people with disability, but also older people, parents with prams and people with mobility issues.

“Inclusion is about reducing the barriers to participation for members of the community, regardless of age, cultural background, mobility or disability.

“The aim of the Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee is to use the skills and experiences of our community to help Council consider how best to make ongoing improvements in the accessibility and inclusiveness of Council facilities, projects and information.

“This committee is our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community, helping to identify access and inclusion issues we need to focus on.”

Committee members attend four meetings a year and nominate to provide advice on particular projects that interest them or align with their experience or skillset.

Chair of the Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Rosemary Oates said the committee is a great way to share skills, ideas, expertise and personal experience to assist in the creation of accessible and inclusive facilities across the shire.

“I believe that serving as a member of this committee is a great way to be actively involved in the creation of very real improvements for our community,” Mrs Oates said.

“Past contributions have included relatively small projects such as designing picnic tables so that people who use a wheelchair are able to comfortably use them, to larger projects such as the Bruce Steer Pool precinct at Bermagui, inclusive playspaces at Merimbula, Tathra, Bermagui and soon Eden, and the current Short Point project at Merimbula.”

The committee is calling for nominations from people with lived experience of disability or experience in the following sectors to help guide the accessibility of our shire:

  • health/disability services
  • hospitality / retail / small business
  • accommodation services (hotels, motels, caravan parks etc)
  • community services
  • tourism/attractions.

Expressions of interest close at 11.59pm on Sunday 17 July and can be submitted via a short form on our website. The form can also be printed, filled in and emailed to council@begavalley.nsw.gov.au or posted to Council via PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550.

More information: begavalley.nsw.gov.au/council/access-and-inclusion-advisory-committee

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