Bunbury Community Access Committee
In early 2014 the Committee held a workshop to devise ways to engender a more inclusive and accepting community beyond simply improving physical access.
It was clear to the committee that this project must reach beyond local government responsibilities.
Out of this came an aspiration for our city to become the Most Accessible Regional City in Australia and so MARCIA was born.
Our vision is that Australian regional cities will build on the work they have already done to create Disability Access and Inclusion plans (DAIP) and similar strategies. Working with community, schools, business and government cities will join in a friendly rivalry to become the Most Accessible Regional City in Australia: MARCIA.
The 2014 workshop in Bunbury formulated six draft criteria for assessing the Most Accessible Regional City in Australia:
Access to Public Spaces. Examples: Wheelchair accessible buses, use of tactile surface indicators, beach wheelchairs available.
Accessible Public Spaces. Examples: Number of ACROD bays, accessible toilets in CBD, accessible Playgrounds, lifts in public buildings.
Access Technology (provision/presence of). Examples: Library software, hearing loops in theatres, microphones available at sector meetings.
Access and Disability Aware Community. Examples: Active community access committee, active council on upgrades, agencies promoting access.
Uniform Guidelines (development and implementation of). Examples: Awareness of council officers (especially planning and engineering staff), openness of council to access committee advice.
Inclusion Initiatives. Examples: Sports programs, arts programs, gopher recharge points, business initiatives.
Local Government Organisations would be required to demonstrate whole-of-community involvement in the quest to become accessible above and beyond the internal work identified in their Disability Access and Inclusion Plans.
What Happens Next?
We are currently investigating ways of making MARCIA a national award program.
We are seeking expressions of interest from Local Government Organisations and other key stakeholders to work with Bunbury to refine the MARCIA criteria and develop a process for nominating and selecting award winners.
Who to Talk To
For further information and to express your interest in becoming involved please contact the Community Development Team, City of Bunbury on (08) 9792 7128.