Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012 - 2017 - Executive summary

Table of contents

1. Pedestrian mobility and transport

1.1 Walking, wheeling and driving safely around Brisbane

1.2 Catching public transport

2. Planning, development and infrastructure

2.1 Being actively engaged in planning an accessible city

2.2 Enjoying a well-designed built environment

2.3 Appreciating the benefits of civic infrastructure

3. Public buildings, venues and outdoor spaces

3.1 Public buildings that make you feel welcome

3.2 People friendly public spaces

3.3 Local meeting places where you can connect with your community

3.4 Parks and natural areas where you enjoy the great outdoors

4.Vibrant, informed and caring communities

4.1 Experiencing the support of inclusive, safe and diverse communities

4.2 Enjoying Brisbane's vibrant arts and culture scene

4.3 Staying active and healthy

4.4 Using libraries for lifelong learning

4.5 Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle

5. Your Council, working with you

5.1 Being an active citizen in an inclusive democracy

5.2 Having a say on the work we do that matters to you

5.3 Communicating and doing business with us

5.4 Understanding how local laws, rules and procedures relate to you

5.5 Keeping Brisbane clean, recycling waste and breathing clean air

5.6 Working in a disability confident organisation

5.7 Knowing your rates are paying for accessible services

The Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017 aims to achieve universal inclusion of all residents and visitors in the life of Brisbane, Australia's new world city.

The purpose of the Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan is to document an integrated whole-of-Council approach to becoming a local government organisation that places priority on achieving equitable access and inclusion for everyone.

This plan is focused on our local government role and responsibilities. It highlights more than 120 ongoing programs of Council that are already providing significant benefits across the community and identifies a range of new initiatives that we can realistically achieve over the five years from 2012-2017.


The following principles underpin the Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017:

  • abilities, not disabilities
  • fundamental rights for all
  • genuine dialogue and participation
  • improving access and inclusion for all
  • judicious utilisation of resources
  • the benefits of working across sectors
  • universal design

They affirm the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Local Government Act 2009 and the City of Brisbane Act 2010.

Everyone will benefit from better access and inclusion

Council recognises that better access and inclusion will benefit all Brisbane residents and visitors - and, in particular, people with a disability, people with chronic illness, people experiencing temporary impairment, seniors, parents with young children and associated family, friends and carers.

Council's history of access and inclusion initiatives

Council's efforts to improve accessibility of services, premises and operations began more than 25 years ago. In 2012, Brisbane's status as a new world city demands more sophisticated initiatives to respond to people's expectations about their inclusion in the life of the city. This plan will for the first time place Council's access initiatives in a comprehensive and cohesive framework.

Council's local government role and responsibilities

In the Australian system of government, there are clear roles and responsibilities for each level of government in relation to access and inclusion. The Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017 articulates an innovative local government role for Council, in the context of Queensland and Commonwealth government responsibilities. Council's primary responsibilities as a local authority are to:

  • enhance the quality of life of the people of Brisbane
  • build vibrant communities
  • support the sustainable development of the regional economy
  • improve the city's infrastructure
  • manage critical services including roads and public transport
  • protect and enhance the city's natural and built environments
  • improve the quality and value of services
  • ensure the financial success and viability of Council [1]

How this plan was developed

The Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017 was developed in two stages. In the first stage, Council developed a draft plan that summarised our understanding of access and inclusion in Brisbane based on community feedback received in the course of our business. It outlined how Council is responding to access and inclusion issues and proposed new initiatives to make Brisbane a more universally accessible city.

In the second stage, we invited feedback on the draft plan from Brisbane's disability services, advocacy groups, government agencies and the broader community. Between May and August 2011, Council conducted workshops involving more than 400 people, collected 1200 responses to a community-wide survey on access and inclusion and received 34 written submissions. This consultation shaped the final plan.

Summary of community feedback

In the community consultation process, we learned about many key community concerns that we have documented and responded to in the relevant sections of this final plan.

  • attitudes are a real barrier and we need to foster a culture of thoughtfulness and an attitude of respect in the wider community
  • the experience of disability is more diverse and prevalent than commonly understood and includes mental illness, neurodiversity and chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes
  • getting around Brisbane as a pedestrian is still difficult for many people
  • everyone needs access to public toilets that they can use with ease and dignity
  • on-street loading of passengers in wheelchairs can be dangerous due to fast moving traffic
  • while many buses are accessible now the instability of wheelchairs and mobility devices stops people from using them
  • people with low vision or low hearing risk missing their bus or missing their stop, especially at busy busways and bus stations
  • all abilities play spaces must have supporting, accessible park visitor facilities
  • mobile web devices are opening new possibilities for breaking down access barriers, in particular for wayfinding and for communication support
  • customer service needs to be considerate and respectful of people's different communication styles and needs
  • brisbane's disability advocates are keen to see Council develop mechanisms for ongoing monitoring as well as partnerships to inform the implementation of this plan

Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017

This plan identifies five areas of work and 21 outcomes that we are working to achieve to ensure access and inclusion for everyone.

  1. Pedestrian mobility and transport:
    • Brisbane residents and visitors are able to reach destinations across the city easily, safely and efficiently.
    • Equitable access for Brisbane residents and visitors to high-quality public transport services with a modern fleet and a focus on customer service.
  2. Planning, development and infrastructure

    Residents work with us to carefully plan for the future of Brisbane.

    Brisbane's built environment is well designed, making our subtropical city accessible and inclusive.

    All Brisbane residents benefit from civic infrastructure that enhances and sustains the City of Brisbane.

  3. Public buildings, venues and outdoor spaces

    People experience Council's public buildings as friendly, welcoming and accessible.

    Brisbane visitors and residents enjoy people friendly public spaces as well as a unique subtropical outdoors lifestyle in a variety of urban settings.

    People connect with one another in local community halls, sports clubs, swimming pools and other community meeting places.

    Brisbane is a safe, attractive and shady city with diverse opportunities for leisure and recreation in our parks and natural areas.

  4. Vibrant, informed and caring communities

    Brisbane is a socially cohesive and connected city where people show willing friendship and compassion by helping others.

    Brisbane residents and visitors experience a city that is innovative and creative where they can actively participate in cultural programs that foster inclusion across Brisbane's diverse communities.

    Residents are supported in their choice of physical activity, play or sport and appreciate the value of good health and well-being.

    Our libraries are vibrant hubs where different lifelong learners share their knowledge in a rich exchange of experience and ideas.

    Brisbane residents and visitors are inspired to work with us to make Brisbane a sustainable city.

  5. Customer service and governance

    Brisbane residents are active citizens of the city and experience effective, accountable and democratic local governance.

    Residents actively and meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives and the future of Brisbane, feeling confident in having their say.

    We want to be a customer-focused organisation delivering the highest level of service to all Brisbane residents, being responsive, understanding and engaging with people's needs and making it easy to do business with us.

    Council's local laws are fair and relevant for everyone, reflect community concerns, and support access and inclusion.

    Residents and visitors work with us to keep Brisbane clean, reduce our waste and prevent air pollution.

    Our aim is to be a disability confident organisation and be an Employer of Choice for people with a disability.

    We want to ensure that all employees, customers, residents and visitors can use the facilities, systems and services we provide.

A printed version of this plan is available by emailing the Access and Inclusion Team or by calling Council on (07) 3403 8888.

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Last updated:30 April 2019