Geraldton named most accessible community in WA

Published: Friday, 9 August 2019 at 9:42:57 AM

Geraldton MACWA Award

Picture Caption: State disability and awards ambassador Melissa Northcott and Mayor Shane Van Styn.

Geraldton has been recognised for its excellence in access and inclusion after taking out the overall award for Regional Capitals Alliance Most Accessible Community in Western Australia.

As well as the Overall Most Accessible Community award, the City of Greater Geraldton also took home the Regional City category.

The awards are aimed at Local Governments who best demonstrate their awareness of creating a universal-access environment.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the City and community members were extremely proud of the accolade.

“We’re honoured to have taken out this award and we have worked hard to become the most accessible community in WA,” he said.

“As well as implementing and supporting a number of different programs, infrastructure and events, we’ve taken on a whole community approach to implement a strategic vision which includes very strong relationships with our local disability sector.

“We consider ourselves real leaders in change for access and inclusion and we know this will always be a top priority for Council.”

Nominees were judged on elements including accessibility of Council infrastructure and public open spaces, inclusive communication technology and information initiatives, accessible and inclusive Council services, programs and events.

Council reaffirmed its ongoing support to people with a disability by endorsing the recently reviewed Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) earlier this year.

The five-year plan outlines the ways in which the City will ensure people with disabilities have equal access to its facilities and services.

As well as the DAIP, the City has reformed its internal Disability Action Group, hosted the inaugural International Day of People with Disability, presented the Disability Support Awards which will be an annual gala event as well as hosting six people as part of AccessAbility Day.

Teaming with a long list of inclusive programs and initiatives, the City has also taken pride in accessible infrastructure and public open spaces.

Completion of the $23 million Beresford Foreshore redevelopment had a big emphasis on design in order to provide all users with a safe and accessible place to enjoy the stunning Geraldton coastline.

The award was presented by Regional Capitals Alliance WA Chair Peter Long and was accepted by Mayor Shane Van Styn at the WALGA AGM on Wednesday 7 August 2019 in Perth.

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