Community accessible to all

Earlier this year Singleton Council adopted a new Disability Access Plan 2020 and allocated $50,000 in 2014/15 towards its implementation.

The Disability Access Plan 2020 replaces the Singleton Disability Access Action Plan adopted in 2009 and was developed in consultation with the Singleton and District Disability Advisory Committee, the community and local service providers.

The plan is designed to focus the efforts of Council, staff and the community towards achieving a truly inclusive environment for all, with the aim of adding to local liveability for all residents and visitors.

Since adopting the original plan in 2009, Council has allocated $50,000 per year to support access works.

With additional funding from Xstrata Ravensworth North Mine Voluntary Planning Agreement and Section 94 contributions, the works completed have included the construction of traffic islands, kerb ramps, taxi rank upgrades, an All Abilities Playground and the installation of a wheelchair lift for the stage in the Civic Centre auditorium.

Other improvements have included ensuring Councilís new website, launched in August 2013, was accessible for all and the development of a CBD mobility map.

A significant component of the 2009 plan was to carry out an access audit of all Council facilities in accordance with new legislation and this was undertaken in 2012/13.

The findings of this audit have influenced the priorities identified in the new plan and include kerb and footpath work.

Other future actions include completing access audits on Council-owned sporting facilities and playgrounds, implementing stages 8-10 of the All Abilities Playground in Rose Point Park and providing accessible public toilets in rural location across the local government area.

In addition, Singleton Council has ensured the design of capital works projects that will commence construction in the next 18 months meet requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The $10 million town centre revitalisation project will include new raised pedestrian crossings, hazard tactiles on all kerb ramps and crossings, improved lighting, contrasting colours on poles, pavements and footpaths, directional signage in contrasting colours and large, easy to read text, appropriate seating with arm and back rest support and disability parking spaces.

Design is also under way for the $5.9 million Singleton Gym & Swim extension and upgrade and will include construction of a new accessible program pool with the intention of making the facility completely accessible for all staff and patrons.