5.4 Understanding how local laws, rules and procedures relate to you | Brisbane City Council

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

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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

Under the City of Brisbane Act 2010, Council has the authority to make and enforce local laws, and is also responsible for administering some Queensland Government laws.

The local laws include: parking regulations; natural assets (e.g. overgrown land and noxious weeds); animal management; abandoned vehicles; neighbourhood nuisances (e.g. noise, illegal dumping and smoke); camping; health, safety and amenity (e.g. graffiti, abandoned trolleys, community newspapers and junk mail); signage; food hygiene; footpath dining; illegal use of premises; and littering and refuse control. Council continually updates its legislation so that it remains relevant and reflects community concerns, and works to make Council rules and procedures easy for everyone to understand.

The Queensland and Commonwealth governments also have significant legislation that affects people with a disability (e.g. the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dog Act 2009). Council also reviews new legislation proposed by the Queensland and Commonwealth governments and advocates when necessary to ensure it meets the needs of the organisation and the City of Brisbane.

Where we are

Council's local laws contain many provisions that relate directly to access and inclusion. These include pensioner discounts on rates and other fees and charges.

Footpath dining permits and standing vehicle permits are issued with conditions that ensure pedestrian access. When we assess applications from cafes and restaurants and issue footpath dining permits, Council requires that in the central business district clear pedestrian access be maintained.

Caravan park permits require accessible toilets and that a percentage of accommodation is accessible. Entertainment event permits are issued containing conditions to ensure disability access.

We recognise that vehicles parking across footpaths in both residential and commercial neighbourhoods create a significant hazard, particularly with Brisbane's busy roads and hilly topography.

We have a range of initiatives that support people who, because of their disability, cannot comply with our local laws. For example, while we support initiatives requiring that all swimming pools in Brisbane must be enclosed by fencing that meets with Queensland Government legislation, Council accepts and assesses applications for exemptions where the owner can demonstrate that compliance would affect accessibility for someone with a disability.

We recognise that people with communication difficulties can find interactions with our compliance and enforcement officers difficult. Council strives to ensure that all options are taken to facilitate effective communication to achieve positive outcomes.

Where we want to be

We want to govern the city with local laws that are fair and relevant for everyone, reflect community concerns and support access and inclusion. We want our rules and procedures to be easy for everyone to understand and enforced without causing disadvantage to anyone.

Our objectives

  1. Review the terms and conditions we put on permits, where there are access and inclusion implications, and revise our publications to encourage good practice.
  2. Raise community awareness of the impacts of blocking footpaths and take action against repeat and recalcitrant offenders.
  3. Provide training for our local laws enforcement officers to raise awareness of access and inclusion issues they may encounter and to develop their understanding and skills to respond appropriately.

Existing actions that will continue

Rate and fee remissions for pensioners

We will continue to provide pensioner remissions on rates and other fees and charges for people on disability support pensions and carers payments.

Dog registration concessions

We will continue to charge lower dog registration fees for people on disability support pensions, and to register guide, hearing and assistance dogs free of charge.

Conditioned permits

We will continue to include access and inclusion conditions on our footpath dining, standing vehicle, caravan park and entertainment event permits.

Dealing with pest birds and plants

We will continue to accommodate people with a disability by assisting with relocating scrub turkeys and clearing of pest plants.

Unsightly vegetation

Council will engage community groups to support people unable to clear unsightly vegetation because of mental illness or other disability.

Disability exemption for swimming pool fencing

Council will continue to receive and assess applications for exemption to pool fencing requirement in cases where compliance would prevent a person with a disability from gaining entry to and exiting from the pool enclosure.

New initiatives or extensions

  1. Awareness training for local laws enforcement staff. We will develop and implement training for compliance officers to develop their understanding and skills to respond appropriately to access and inclusion issues e.g. to make the best use of interpreters when required or to identify possible mental health issues. This will empower officers to use their discretion when dealing with their customers.
  2. Revision of Standard Operating Procedures. We will revise our procedures to take into account key strategies to ensure that no one in the community is disadvantaged.
  3. Review of publications. We will review our publications (e.g. Footpath Dining Permit Guide) and, where necessary, revise them to provide up-to-date information on access and inclusion (e.g. to provide the safe passage of pedestrian traffic along the footpath).
  4. Targeting parking non-compliance hot spots. As well as continuing to proactively enforce Council's kerbside disability parking zones as part of normal business, we will encourage members of the public to report sites where Council disability parking bays are illegally occupied. We will act on these reports by dispatching council officers in a timely manner to deal with the breach on the day, collating information received as the basis for targeted enforcement action plans, and briefing our enforcement officers on identified hotspots so they can monitor these sites during their normal patrols.
  5. Disability parking infringement public awareness campaign. When we fine people for parking illegally in disability parking bays, we will also attach information explaining the impact this has on people who need those spaces.

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03 November 2014