A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2019 - Introduction

By 2029 Brisbane will be a city for everybody - known worldwide for embracing all ages, abilities and cultures.

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Brisbane is a city for everyone

Brisbane City Council has been working for many years to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to enjoy the city, access public services and facilities as well as contribute to community life.

Council has a proud history of working together with the community through events, activities and services that build a sense of belonging, safety, compassion and resilience. Together we will continue to support our young people, recognise everyone’s diverse abilities, welcome multicultural diversity, value our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and respect our senior residents.

Council’s vision for Brisbane is to be a city where everyone can live, work and relax. A city that is safe, vibrant and prosperous for all. A city of liveable communities, a strong economy with more local jobs, exciting lifestyle and leisure opportunities and world-class public transport.

Regardless of ability, age or background, Brisbane will be a city where everyone feels they belong.

Achievements so far

Council is recognised as a national leader in addressing issues of access and inclusion.

In 2012, Council released the city’s first comprehensive access and inclusion plan. The Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017 (the plan) provided Council with a clearer picture of its work to date, identified areas of need, and outlined approaches to make Brisbane a better place to live. The plan was supported by targeted strategies in the Seniors’ Strategy 2012-2017, and ongoing programs that support culturally diverse communities.

From modifying public transport and public buildings so everyone can use them, to becoming an employer of choice and giving people greater opportunities to influence decisions that affect them; Council’s investment of $200 million in access and inclusion has been recognised with 25 State and national awards:

  • Disability, Access and Inclusion Award 2017, National Awards for Local Government
  • Employer of the Year 2016, National Disability Awards
  • Queensland Inclusive Champions Awards 2015 and 2014, Spinal Injuries Australia

$200 million invested in projects to increase accessibility since 2012:

  • Wheelchair and pram accessible CityCats and buses
  • 40 all-abilities playgrounds
  • 127 community programs funded
  • 250,000+ trips in Council Cabs
  • Seven accessible aqua play facilities
  • Weekly English conversation groups in libraries
  • Wheelchair and pram accessible community halls
  • 250+ multicultural festivals funded

Outcomes so far

Getting around the city

Tactile street signs on traffic lights are now helping residents and visitors navigate Brisbane’s city streets.

Residents like Brendon, a young man who is blind, inspired Council to introduce the signs, which feature the street name and building numbers in braille and large, raised letters.

Brendon often visits the Central Business District (CBD) from his South Brisbane home, and while he is comfortable catching buses, he prefers to walk. Brendon told Council he found it difficult to know which street he was on and where he was going.

Although his smartphone’s voiceover feature helped, it was not always accurate and did not provide certain street numbers.

Council began installing tactile street signs at signalised pedestrian crossings (located just above the pedestrian crossing button) in 2012. More than 300 signs are now in place across the city at locations selected by residents and partners such as Vision Australia. Signs are not only helping residents like Brendon move about with safety, independence and confidence but also people with low hearing and those who feel uncomfortable asking others about less visible street names and numbers.

Harnessing diversity

Council’s DisABILITY ACTION at WORK (DAAW) program, which offers people with disability a four-month traineeship, was key in Council being awarded Australia’s Employer of the Year in 2016 at the National Disability Awards. This highly successful program gives participants the skills and confidence to go on to full-time employment or study following their paid placement with Council.

Participants tell Council that the program’s success comes down to confidence. Re-entering the workforce can be challenging for anyone, but not knowing how a team will respond to your needs can be daunting.

The program provides skills, networks and confidence to navigate ongoing employment within an employee’s chosen professional field.

“The DAAW program offered a supportive work environment and a chance to utilise my skills and build on them within a large organisation. It has allowed me to not only gain real world experience but I’ve realised just how much I can contribute to a large organisation like Council.” Stephanie, Learning and Development Team DAAW participant.

Our changing city

Our city is growing, our population is ageing, our needs are diversifying and more people from other countries are discovering Brisbane’s unique lifestyle. These trends are reshaping our city and changing the way we live. Rapid technological advances are also opening doors to innovation and fresh ways of imagining our future.

A growing city
Brisbane is one of Australia’s most desirable lifestyle cities. Increased birth rates and migration (interstate and overseas), contributed to Brisbane’s population growth of almost 200,000 people between 2006 and 2016. By 2029, an estimated 1.4 million people will call Brisbane home [i]. With a growing population, we all benefit from more diverse employment opportunities and additional infrastructure that helps improve the quality of life for everyone.

Ageing population
Brisbane is benefiting from the knowledge and contribution of our ageing population. The proportion of residents aged over 60 grew from 16% in 2006 to 18% in 2016 and is expected to reach more than 20% by 2029. The fastest growing group of residents are those aged over 85 years [ii]. As life expectancy increases, older residents will continue to contribute to our communities through work and volunteering, travel and tourism, new hobbies and recreational pursuits and the sharing of cultural traditions and customs.

Variety of abilities
Disability affects one-in-five of us. Most of us will experience some form of impairment over our life as we age or via the experiences of a loved one. For 45,000 Brisbane residents, profound disability requires ongoing assistance. Disability will become more common over coming decades as the population ages [iii]. Increased technology, more accessible facilities and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will all provide increased opportunities to build skills and networks to increase greater participation in community, recreation and employment.

Cultural diversity
Brisbane is a truly multicultural city. In 2016, one-in-three residents were born overseas and almost one-in-four households spoke a language other than, or in addition to, English [iii]. Our diversity enriches us, bringing new perspectives, ideas and rich cultural traditions. It also strengthens our connections to other countries, which can help to grow employment, trade and tourism.

Planning for an inclusive city

Everyone is valued in an inclusive city. Characterised by a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation, it’s a place where everyone is respected and has the same opportunities as each other.

This draft plan updates Council’s commitment and details practical strategies and possible actions to reach our goals as a city. It complements Council’s other social inclusion strategies that support young people and indigenous communities. The draft plan describes how government, business, industry and community members can work together for a more accessible and inclusive city.

In developing this draft plan, Council has considered legislation, Queensland and Australian Government policies, international approaches and strategies across our own organisation, to build stronger communities (as detailed in Appendix A).

Respect for others is protected by legislation at all levels of government. It’s unlawful, for example, to discriminate on the basis of disability or treat people unfairly because of their age or cultural background. Governments at all levels are committed to removing the barriers people face in realising their rights and living life to the full.

The NDIS, which is being rolled out across Australia, is expected to give people with disability greater control over their funding of activities, entertainment and support services. More people with disability are expected to leverage their funding packages to travel and participate in daily life, increasing demand for mainstream services. Many Brisbane businesses and community groups are already making their services disability-friendly and accessible in anticipation of the NDIS. Council will continue to collaborate with other levels of government so residents and visitors can participate fully in their communities.

This draft plan builds on Council’s past achievements, focusing on the issues highlighted by residents, community groups and service providers that remain a priority. It also draws on the advice of Council’s Inclusive Brisbane Board, which is made up of representatives from government, business, academia and community organisations.

Council's role

Council has a proud history of providing and funding practical services, facilities and infrastructure to improve people’s lives and enable everyone to participate fully in community life. Regulating activities such as use of accessible on-street parking is also a necessary part of Council’s day-to-day activities. These roles will continue to be a core function for Council into the future.

As the challenges and opportunities ahead increase in size and complexity, Council will need to partner more closely with other levels of government, community providers and the private sector to develop innovative solutions and maximise available resources. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure our city provides opportunities for all and this is best achieved when we work together.

Council recognises it does not need to lead every community response. Simply bringing the right people and organisations together as a facilitator can reduce duplication, inspire innovation, create strong networks and streamline responses.

Council will continue to advocate for the interests of the community, not just to other levels of government but also to business and industry.

The draft plan utilises the illustrated roles to propose actions that are not solely the responsibility of Council, but the responsibility of all of us as an inclusive city.

  • Provider: Delivering services.
  • Funder: Funding other organisations to deliver services.
  • Regulator: Regulating some activities through legislation.
  • Partner: Forming partnerships and strategic alliances with other parties in the interests of the community.
  • Facilitator: Assisting others to be involved in activities by bringing groups and interested parties together.
  • Advocate: Promoting the interests of the community to other decision-makers and influencers.

How to respond to the draft plan

This draft plan considers what Council has learned about the experience of people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities who live in, or visit Brisbane.

In 2011, community feedback greatly shaped the plan and Seniors’ Strategy 2012-2017. The draft plan again asks for community feedback so Council can better understand the everyday experiences of residents.

Together, we can shape the future of Brisbane. This draft plan documents what Council already does within its responsibilities as a local government, and proposes new strategies and actions that aim to make our city more inclusive over the next 10 years.

Council wants to know what you think of the draft plan and welcomes your feedback and ideas by 15 February 2019. Your contribution will help Council prioritise actions to be included in the final plan.

This draft plan is also available in braille, audio, Auslan and a shorter summary version in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Vietnamese.

Have your say

There are many ways you can have your say. Choose which method is best for you.

  1. Share your thoughts by visiting Council’s website and responding to the questions or making your own comments.
  2. Meet one-on-one with a Council officer, ask questions and provide feedback and ideas at selected accessible venues. All sessions will have an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreter present. To find out more about the sessions, visit Council’s website or call 3403 8888.
  3. Call the Access and Inclusion team on 3403 8888. You can also use the National Relay Service, National Video Relay Service or the Translating Interpreting Service if you require assistance to speak and/or listen via the phone.
  4. Complete a feedback form or write your own ideas and email it to inclusivebrisbane@brisbane.qld.gov.au or post to:
    • Inclusive Brisbane Plan
      Connected Communities
      Brisbane City Council
      Reply Paid 1434
      BRISBANE QLD 4001.

The following themes will guide Brisbane as a world-renowned inclusive city

Brisbane is a city where everyone moves around safely and easily through smart, sustainable travel choices, accessible public transport, world-class walking and wheeling opportunities.

Brisbane is a city where everyone benefits from a strong economy through accessible local businesses, inclusive employment and accessible tourism opportunities.

Brisbane is a city where everyone can live and relax through community facilities and parklands, inclusive built environments and accessible housing choices.

Brisbane is a city where everyone can enjoy community life through lifestyle and leisure activities such as inclusive arts, cultural, digital, educational and active recreation programs, festivals and events.

Brisbane is a city where everyone feels they belong and can have their say about the things that matter to them through a wide variety of Council information channels. There are ample opportunities for everyone to shape the future of our city.

The A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2029 is Council’s plan to make it easier for people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to connect, work, live, enjoy and engage in Brisbane.

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Last updated:30 April 2019