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Increased support for Access

Bland Shire Council has doubled the amount of funding available under its Access Incentive Grant program.

Following a recommendation from the Bland Shire Access Advisory Committee, based on an unprecedented level of community demand in 2013-2014, Council has multiplied the level of funding to $20,000 in 2014-2015.

Chairperson of Council’s Access Advisory Committee, Dr Wendy Bowles, said the extra injection of funds will help the Access Incentive program to meet increasing demand and benefit more people than ever in the new financial year.

She has urged local businesses and community groups considering making access improvements to their premises to lodge an application with Council before the next funding round which closes on Monday November 3, 2014.

Access Incentive grant applications are considered by Council’s Access Advisory Committee, which make formal recommendations to Council.

Subsequent funding rounds close on Monday February 2, 2015 and Monday May 4, 2015.

The input and recommendations of the Access Advisory Committee over several years, combined with the co-operation of local business and community groups, has helped earned the Bland Shire  a glowing reputation as an accessible community.

However, Dr Bowles stressed that the Advisory Committee’s mission is still far from complete. She said the Access Advisory Committee remains more enthusiastic and determined than ever in pursuing its goals to raise Council and community awareness of access issues and improve access to and within buildings and passageways throughout the Shire.

Access Incentive Grants in 2013-2014 were awarded to –

Cuts n Curls Hair Salon
Weethalle Country Club
West Wyalong Primary School P&C

The Access Committee has responsibility for considering access matters that have been referred to Council from the community and/or committee members. The Access Advisory Committee provides advice from which Council makes formal decisions.

Objectives of the committee include -

To raise access awareness to the Council and community;
To improve access for the community
To prevent falls in older people;
To advise Council on access issues and trends;
To organise community activities to celebrate International Day for People with a Disability
To implement Council’s Access Awards for community groups and businesses that demonstrate best practice in providing good access;
To administer Council’s Access Incentive Scheme to local business.

Anyone with a local access issue or query is encouraged to contact Bland Shire Council’s Community Development Officer Rebecca McDonell on 02 6972 266 or email rmcdonell@blandshire.nsw.gov.au.