Central Coast Council has launched its 2021-2025 Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP); a detailed strategy which demonstrates Council’s commitment to improving accessibility and inclusion on the Coast and promotes Council’s actions to achieve this.
Launched on International Day of People with Disability (3 December), the Plan’s vision is to make the Central Coast an accessible and inclusive place to live, visit, work and play.
Central Coast Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the Plan’s focus areas reflect what is most important to the Central Coast community and align with the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan.
“Council worked in close consultation with the community and the Access and Inclusion Reference Group to guide the development of this Plan. The Plan’s four focus areas are increasing positive community behaviours towards people with a disability, creating a more accessible, inclusive and liveable region, increasing meaningful employment opportunities and improving access to Council services,” said Mr Hart.
“Thank you to the community members and our Access and Inclusion Reference Group whose knowledge, expertise and lived experience of disability has helped inform this Plan. Together, we’ve developed an actionable strategy that will increase liveability, quality of life and foster a sense of wellbeing for community members living with disability across the Coast.”
Access to beaches and natural features continues to be a key theme raised during the development of the Plan. The 2021-2025 DIAP renews its focus on beach accessibility through Council’s Beach Access Program, which was an action within Council’s first 2017-2021 DIAP.
In the lead up to the summer patrol season, Council has collaborated with Surf Life Saving to make sure serviced beaches are accessible and inclusive. To date, Council’s Beach Access Program has improved access to 13 beaches on the Coast for people with disability through a suite of serviced beach wheelchairs and purpose-built beach matting during the summer patrol period.
Beach wheelchairs are now available for use at Avoca Beach, Copacabana Beach, Killcare Beach, Lakes Beach, Macmasters Beach, Ocean Beach, Shelly Beach, Soldiers Beach, Terrigal Beach, The Entrance, Toowoon Bay, Umina Beach and Wamberal Beach. All beach wheelchairs have been serviced to the highest safety standard.
Additionally, Council has conducted site visits to assess and prioritise which beaches are safe to have beach matting installed. Throughout summer 2021-2022, beach matting will be at Toowoon Bay, Umina Beach, Ocean Beach and Terrigal Beach, while Council is exploring the installation of matting at Avoca Beach, Cabbage Tree Bay and Copacabana Lagoon. These beaches have been chosen because erosion is low to moderate and they are relatively flat.
The Central Coast Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025 and Easy English version are available on the Central Coast website under ‘Strategies and Plans’ at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au