Illegal parking in disabled parking spaces to be targeted

ARARAT - Ararat Rural City will be stepping up its patrols of parking areas in the Ararat CBD with a particular focus on illegal parking in disabled parking spaces.

Barkly street

Barkly street

Council has received an update on its Disability Access and Inclusion Plan which is currently in development and Cr Gwenda Allgood said she had received numerous complaints about people illegally using disabled parking spaces.

CEO Andrew Evans said now that the new parking meters were fully operational, Local Laws officers will introduce checks in the CBD on a Saturday morning.

"They will be doing a run on Saturday mornings up the main street, specifically targeting disabled parking spots, particularly the one in front of Bendigo Bank," Mr Evans said.

Currently an internal Council Project Control Group is reviewing the actions and non-actions of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2005-2006 and making recommendations in developing a new plan in consultation with the community. The strategies developed will align with the Council Plan 2013-2017 and the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017.

Currently Ararat Rural City Council has approximately 6.6 per cent of the population requiring some form of assistance from various forms of disability being either physical, sensory, psychological/psychiatric.

With the projected figures for ageing populations and infrastructure built before government legislation was considered in relation to access, Council has the ongoing task to assess facilities and to provide within its budget and/or through other funding resources, upgrades and maintenance to improve accessibility.

The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan is important to capture the major priorities for Council to work towards over the next three years, and to set parameters for evaluation and review of the plan in the future.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plans provide the framework to improve access for all within Council and the community.

Consideration is given not only to people with a permanent physical or psychological disability, but also parents with prams, people with walking frames, people experiencing temporary physical disability from sporting injuries or medical conditions, delivery people with trolleys, postmen and sight and hearing impaired or other impairment which may impede access to community facilities.

While Council was happy to receive the report, Cr Allgood requested that the Project Control Group also look at facilities available to people with hearing difficulties.

"One of the things I'd like to see included in this document is assistance for those having hearing issues in some of our senior cits centres and some of our halls, because acoustically it is apparently very, very difficult for some people," she said.

"So I'd like that to be added to it."

It is hoped a draft plan will be available for community consultation and feedback in the second half of the year.

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