People with disability have a fundamental right to access facilities and services that enable them to fully participate in their local communities.

At Local Government NSW (LGNSW), we work with member councils to promote access and inclusion of people with a disability in their community, as well as meet the requirements set out in both the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the NSW Disability Inclusion Act (2014).

Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP)

Under the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014, councils are required to review their DIAP every four years. Legislation also requires councils to report progress on DIAP implementation in their Annual Report.

A Disability Inclusion Action Plan demonstrates local government’s commitment to people with a disability on improving access to services, facilities and jobs. It’s also designed to change perceptions about people with a disability.

DIAP Reporting
To help councils meet their reporting obligations under the Act, the Department of Family and Community Services and LGNSW have developed the following resources:

It’s recommended that councils submit their report by 30 November of the reporting year.

LGNSW has also held forums to support DIAP planning around NSW.

Disability Access

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) works with member councils to promote accessibility so that people with a disability can live and fully participate in their local community.

See Australian Government Liveable Housing Guidelines

Access to premises
The Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) stipulate that buildings must comply with regulations under the Building Code of Australia. New buildings or those undergoing significant refurbishment or alteration must be made accessible, unless giving access would impose an unjustifiable hardship. Building designers, builders, owners, lessees and users of premises also have responsibilities and rights under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Accessible to public transport
The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) require that all transport infrastructure (e.g. bus stops and ferry wharves) is fully accessible by 2022.

Access Consultants
Access consultants can provide advice on access to the built environment for people with a disability.

Inclusive Tourism

It’s estimated the inclusive tourism market in Australia was worth up to $8.9 billion over the first three months of 2017. What’s more, this sector is expected to grow as our population ages and more people experience some level of disability.

There’s growing evidence to show that businesses and councils that are prepared to provide better information and physical access, as well as appropriate and respectful customer service, will create more opportunities to tap into this market.

Lift and Change Facilities Trial

LGNSW conducted a trial with member councils to identify where lift & change facilities could be installed in local communities. The NSW Government provided a co-contribution of up to $35,000.

The aim of the trial was to demonstrate how lift & change facilities work in varying locations, including at swimming centres, near beaches and in tourist information centres. Blue Mountains, Campbelltown, Clarence Valley, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Kiama, Northern Beaches, Orange, Shoalhaven, Midcoast and Newcastle councils have received co-contributions and have or are currently developing facilities.

To date, lift and change facilities have been completed at South Grafton Lifestyle Centre, Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre, Orange Aquatic Centre, Echo Point Visitors Centre, Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club, Mollymook Reserve and Kiama Harbour. Further updates will be provided as works progress.

For more information, please visit the Communities and Justice website

Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK)

The MLAK system gives facility owners the option to secure the facility after hours but still provide 24-hour access to facilities for people with a disability. This alleviates the difficulty faced by people with a disability in finding an accessible toilet after hours.

Facilities fitted with MLAK should still remain open (unless they are housing adult changing facilities with hoists etc.) consistent with the following principles of access:

  • Accessible toilets should be unlocked during daylight hours to ensure maximum access
  • Accessible toilets should be unlocked when co-located with unlocked general entry toilets

For further information, please visit the MLAK website.

Events and Resources

Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Implementation Workshop
This free LGNSW workshop held in September 2018 brought together local council disability inclusion officers and community development staff to explore strategies for the implementation of DIAPs.

Workshop presentations are available for download:

International Day of People with a Disability
LGNSW supports International Day of People with a Disability (IDPWD) – a day that celebrates the achievements of people with a disability on 3 December each year.

Aged and Disability Forum 2018
LGNSW held an Aged and Disability Forum on 16 March 2018 to bring together local council ageing and disability staff and sector support officers.

The forum provided:

  • Updates on recent aged and disability reforms
  • Council case studies and best practice in aged and disability service provision
  • Scenario planning
  • Information on engaging with marginalised communities
  • Networking sessions with other councils.

Aged and Disability Forum 2017
LGNSW hosted an Aged and Disability Forum for NSW councils on 14 March 2017.

The forum served to inform and support councils on the aged and disability care reforms, and to discuss the implications for their services.

Forum presentations are available for download:

To further prepare councils for the sector reforms, LGNSW also offered the following training:

Marketing in Community Care - 15 June 2017
Workforce Planning in Community Care - 20 June 2017

Inclusive Tourism Networking Events
LGNSW held a series of networking events in 2017 across NSW that focused on:

  • The compelling business case for inclusive tourism, including how businesses and councils can take advantage of the emerging market for accessible travel and recreation
  • Small changes businesses can make to enhance accessibility and increase profits
  • Providing the best possible customer service
  • Uploading the right information to digital tourism databases
  • Understanding older people, people with a disability and carers as consumers

Presenters at the events included the Business Australia (formerly the NSW Business Chamber), TripAdvisor, Destination NSW, LGNSW, and the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse