Friday, July 26, 2024

Gunnedah takes inclusion action

Gunnedah Shire Council has endorsed its blueprint for enhancing access and cultivating inclusion for the next four years, with the document now on public exhibition.

The Gunnedah Shire DisABILITY Inclusion Action Plan 2024-2028 Enhancing Access: Cultivating Inclusion outlines the measures put in place to ensure people with disability can access general supports and services available in the community and can participate fully in the community.

Mayor, Jamie Chaffey said the plan supported the Shire’s vision, which is “to be recognised as both an advocate and champion for the rights of people of all abilities in our community, ensuring all of our residents are treated equally and respectfully and have opportunities to enjoy the benefits of full participation in a caring, proud, prosperous and inclusive community”.

“This plan has been developed in consultation with community stakeholders including the Gunnedah Access Working Group and is an important step in our aim to become Access Champions,” Mayor Chaffey said.

“People with disability are an intrinsic part of our community. They contribute in so many ways – as leaders, as volunteers, as businesspeople, as part of our organisations, as artists, as friends, and as family. It is vitally important that we identify and prioritise actions that further access and participation for everyone and ensure all of our residents are treated equally and respectfully.”

The Mayor said the Gunnedah Shire DisABILITY Inclusion Action Plan 2024-2028 works to address the ongoing needs for the local community by:

  • Advocating equal rights for all;
  • Progressing positive community attitudes and behaviours;
  • Creating liveable communities by providing a range of facilities, services and events that make our Shire a great place for people to live, work and play;
  • Supporting access to meaningful employment, education and professional development opportunities;
  • Improving access to mainstream services through better systems and processes;
  • Collaborating with business partners, service providers and community groups;
  • Strategic planning to meet the changing needs and expectations of its growing community, and
  • Monitoring compliance to legislation.

One in five members of the Gunnedah Shire reported having a disability in the 2021 Census, with 793 people (6.1%) of people of all ages needing help in their day-to-day lives due to a disability, compared to 5.8% for NSW. The Census also showed 1078 (11.3%) of people aged 15 and over were providing unpaid assistance to people with disability.

To view the three versions of the document – the full plan, the easy read version and the text versionm visit

The public exhibition period will close at 5pm on 19 July.

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