Today marked the return of Maroondah’s quarterly Forums for People with Disabilities and Carers. These forums provide the opportunity for people with disabilities, as well as carers and vendors, to exchange information and raise any issues that affect accessibility within Maroondah.
Today’s meeting included a guest speaker from State Trustees who spoke about the various legal protections and guardianships that are available for people in need. Maroondah City Council’s Engineering services department also provided an update on the various capital works projects that are being completing to improve accessibility throughout the municipality.
Attending these forums allows me to serve as a direct conduit between forum participants and the elected councillors. An an example, a number of items were raised which will require discussion within council:
- Ensuring community engagement for the future Maroondah pedestrian and footpath strategy. This strategy is currently being developed and will help Maroondah City Council address shortcomings within the footpath network.
- Seeking agreement to increase the amount of capital expenditure allocated to retrofitting infrastructure for disability compliance. Maroondah City Council currently spends $20,000 per annum on these projects and while the council has made good progress in enhancing accessibility, additional funding would help expedite a number of projects.
- Investigate methods that would help increase the rate of community participation for people with disabilities. This could include the creation of other forums or committees to complement the Maroondah Disability Forums.
I will discuss each of these items within Maroondah City Council and report on progress at the next Maroondah Disability Forum, which is currently scheduled for Monday the 30th of April.