A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2029 - Theme 2: Work

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

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A city where everyone benefits from a strong economy

I feel independent in accessing the businesses and services I need across the city.

In an inclusive city, everyone has the opportunity to be an employee, a business owner and a customer. Brisbane is a city known for its ability to attract people for employment opportunities who then stay for the lifestyle benefits.

By 2029, people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds will be able to access employment opportunities and participate in the economy. Council will lead the way in building our local economy while creating new and innovative jobs.

Council will partner with industry, social enterprises and tourism operators to enhance accessibility and promote inclusive local services, businesses and activities. This in turn, will help us achieve a thriving economy that attracts international visitors and provides local employment and accessible services for people of all ages, abilities and cultures.

Small start-ups to large enterprises

I have a job that enables me to earn a living.

Brisbane is the place for small businesses to start, grow and employ others. The city is forging ahead as Australia’s innovation leader due to the talent, skills and creativity of its small sized and medium sized businesses, which employ a considerable number of residents.

Inclusion means great service for all, from people with temporary injuries to those who speak English as a second language and older residents. Council plans to celebrate and promote businesses that embrace inclusivity and encourage other businesses to adopt practices that are more welcoming to everyone.

Council understands that more opportunities must exist for everyone to secure meaningful work. Older residents are working later in life while people with disability are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed and half as likely to have a full-time job compared to Australians without disability [ix]. People who have been in Australia for fewer than five years and are from a non-English speaking background may also require additional supportive pathways. Increasing employment rates within these groups would broaden the pool of talent, ideas and perspectives in the workforce and boost Brisbane’s overall productivity.

Council uses its purchasing power to support social enterprises who reinvest profits back into the community. Social enterprises often employ people who have previously been out of work and provide additional support to help meet their needs. Council will extend its policy of social procurement and seek practical ways to support social enterprises to employ more people of all ages, abilities and cultures.

Employer of choice

Council works hard to ensure its workforce represents the diversity of its city and that staff enjoy a safe, equitable, non-discriminatory and inclusive environment. Recruitment policies, tailored work programs and flexible work practices attract seniors, carers, people with disability and those from diverse cultural backgrounds. Robust systems, processes and policies support their retention, productiveness and development.

Council proposes to explore opportunities to expand successful employment programs to provide previously unemployed residents of all ages, abilities and cultures, with experience and skills aimed at building their networks to secure ongoing employment.

The sharing of inclusive employment practices across government and private enterprises aim to grow the diversity of employees across the entire city.

Accessible tourism

Brisbane is known as a lifestyle city and our strong global reputation as a tourism destination attests to that. Council’s investment from 2012-2017 of $200 million in enhancing accessibility provides a great opportunity to extend the city’s tourism offering to visitors of all ages, abilities and cultures. Council understands that seniors and people with disability want to know that cafes, restaurants, activities and accommodation are accessible.

The Australian Network on Disability reports that one-in-three customers with disability have ceased a transaction because they were not treated respectfully. Growing numbers of people with disabilities seek to travel. Accessible tourism in Australia is an $8 billion industry set to boom as the global population ages and the NDIS is fully implemented. People with disabilities and their families stay an average of eight nights when traveling, often in groups, and tend to travel across all seasons [x]. Additionally, visitors from diverse cultural backgrounds seek inclusive services that make it easy to stay and play in Brisbane through easy to understand promotion of destinations and experiences. Council will encourage further growth in this area through support to increase accessibility and campaigns that promote inclusive tourism.

Future possibilities

Between 2019 and 2029, Council is considering a focus on the following strategies and possible actions.

Support local businesses to become more accessible and inclusive.

  • Provide free training to businesses to help make their services more inclusive of people of all abilities.
  • Facilitate opportunities for businesses to make their services more accessible.
  • Partner with local businesses to explore recharge stations for mobility devices including electric scooters.
  • Partner with local business precincts to advertise inclusive elements of the streets and businesses so that customers feel confident in shopping locally.
  • Facilitate an inclusive business award that recognises and celebrates inclusive practices (such as inclusive employment or accessible service delivery).
  • Facilitate tender processes so that businesses that Council purchases from define how they will contribute to Brisbane communities (i.e. purchasing from social enterprises, providing employment opportunities for marginalised groups, providing pro-bono services for non-profit community groups etc.) and use this information as part of assessing Council contracts.
  • Facilitate networks that harness the knowledge and experience of retirees to support young people starting up their own businesses.

Position Brisbane as an inclusive tourism destination.

  • Partner with Brisbane Marketing to provide information on Brisbane’s accessible tourism, transport and accommodation through a Visit Brisbane website and marketing to international residents and visitors.
  • Facilitate the development of inclusive tourism attractions through possible initiatives such as providing an accessible carriage for The Parkland Explorer trackless train at Roma Street Parkland.
  • Provide audio, Auslan, sensory-sensitive and multi-language tours of key tourist attractions such as the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
  • Provide access for people of all abilities to the water at key beachfront destinations.
  • Provide audit tools to enable Brisbane businesses (including tour and attraction operators) to collate and promote information on their accessibility in promotional materials.
  • Partner with Brisbane Marketing to better understand international tourism markets that would benefit from increased accessibility.
  • Partner with volunteer visitor guides to provide information about Brisbane’s accessible facilities and services so that they can educate visitors on how to make the most of their stay.
  • Facilitate opportunities for global conferences and events to be hosted in Brisbane by promoting the city’s accessible and inclusive services and facilities.
  • Facilitate tourism providers to develop virtual travel experiences for international visitors and those not physically able to participate.

Grow the city’s workforce diversity.

  • Facilitate networks of different businesses across Brisbane to share and learn from each other to grow knowledge of workplace diversity.
  • Provide additional employment programs to increase the diversity of Council’s staff, particularly representation by seniors, people with disability and those from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Provide subsidies of Council licence fees (e.g. food licences) for social enterprises that provide employment for people with disability, seniors or residents from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Ongoing commitments

Council will continue to facilitate better connections for entrepreneurs of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to existing programs such as Brisbane’s innovation hub, The Capital, which provides affordable working space and support for start-ups.

Partnering with culturally diverse community leaders to link people from multicultural communities to the Lord Mayor’s Global Growth Program to help accelerate scalable businesses, will add to the existing success of the program. Providing business forums, training and development programs for social enterprises will continue to support employment opportunities for all ages, abilities and cultures.

Partnering with community organisations to increase awareness, knowledge and confidence of diversity amongst all Council employees through training and educational programs will also continue. Reviewing and improving recruitment processes to attract and support additional applicants with disability, seniors and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, will be supported by Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Framework. Strategies to increase awareness and support of mental health issues and reduce the stigma associated with seeking assistance, will aid the retention of all employees.

Council will continue to facilitate economic and social inclusion in Brisbane’s multicultural community through the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Round Table. It will also provide business training and mentoring opportunities through the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Scholarship and Mentoring Scheme and celebrate the outstanding contribution of the multicultural business community through the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Dinner. The Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Awards for Business and funding for social enterprises through social procurement will also remain ongoing business for Council.

Council will continue to provide free Wi-Fi in suburban centres, as well as information about employment opportunities through Council’s accessible website and offer employment programs to people with disability. Internal advisory groups will continue to support education and inclusion across Council. Staff will continue to be provided with education, awareness and support to assist in identifying and managing poor mental health, along with support to action reasonable adjustments to the work environment.

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Last updated:30 April 2019