Item 11.2 - Attachment 1

Access Advisory Committee Minutes 210409






John Moxon in the Chair, Debbie Manuel, Jim Grainda, Phillip Cornwall and Peter Simpson.




Donna Mosford – Community Capacity Building Officer, Chris McAlpine – Community Place Development Officer, and Joy Bramham – Administration Officer.




The Chairperson, John Moxon, welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.




An apology was received and accepted for the absence of Barbara Jones.





There were no declarations made regarding conflict of interest at this meeting.




A copy of the Minutes of the Access Advisory Committee meeting held on 5 August 2008 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RESOLUTION           (Debbie Manuel/Peter Simpson)


That the Minutes of the meeting of the Access Advisory Committee held on 5 August 2008 be taken as read and confirmed with the following changes that Debbie Manuel’s name was spelt incorrectly throughout. It should read “Manuel” not “Manual”:-


5. DATES FOR 2009


The Committee agreed to continue to meet on the first Tuesday of even numbered months at 5:30pm.  However, due to room booking difficulties, it was agreed by the majority of Committee members to reschedule meetings for the third Tuesday of even numbered months. 


Confirmed meeting dates for 2009 are therefore as follows


Tuesday 16 June 2009

            Tuesday 18 August 2009

            Tuesday 20 October 2009

            Tuesday 15 December 2009


Joy Bramham has sent letters to all Committee members notifying them of this change.


Chris McAlpine will be unable to attend Tuesday night Advisory Committee meetings for the time being due to other commitments. However, Chris will continue to work with Donna to support initiatives of, and actions related to, the Access Advisory Committee as required.





Donna read the 23 March 2009 Council resolution related to Advisory Committees:


“That Council retain the ATSI, Access, Arts, Cycleways and Heritage Advisory Committees in their current form and Terms of Reference, and their respective memberships reconfirmed through a public advertising and/or consultation process.”


John Moxon reminded members that the Committee was originally established to address physical access issues, and members agreed that while this should be expanded to cover “disability related access issues” associated with intellectual, sensory, aural, visual and psychological challenges, the Committee should not be responsible for addressing other socially-based access and equity issues such as language, cultural and gender barriers. 


It was agreed that the current Terms of Reference (ToR) would be reviewed once Committee membership is confirmed following completion of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process. It was suggested that the new ToR are written to clearly emphasize the Committee’s focus on the aforementioned access issues.


6.1 The Access Committee’s future role

The Committee spoke on the need for access issues to become an integral part of Council planning processes and agreed that relevant Council departments should utilise the Access Committee’s expertise in planning and development processes.

Utilizing the Committees early on in the planning process could ensure access issues are addressed before construction/development occurs and result in significant financial savings and increased public respect for Council.



6.2 Councillor and Council Staff involvement with the Access Committee

The Committee noted that Access Committees in other Councils usually have participation from Councillors and Council staff. The Committee would like to see increased involvement from across Council departments, particularly senior staff who are able to embed physical access principles in their work and team practices. Suggested departments include Roads and Traffic, Open Space, Strategic Assets and Development.


As numerous Councillors were supportive of the Access Committee presentation at the Advisory Committee Councillor Workshop, and many acknowledged the importance of increased attendance, it is also assumed that Councillors will attend meetings and support the Committee’s aims and initiatives. 


Further work to develop engagement strategies will take place once the new Committee is confirmed.


6.3 Expressions of Interest (EOI)s

Committee membership will be expanded and reconfirmed through a new, formal EOI process. As the EOI process is quite lengthy, it is envisaged that the process will still be underway at the time of the next Committee meeting.


The Committee commented that an information pack for prospective members would need to be developed and that all background information and the EOI form would need to be easy to understand and accessible through a broad range of communication modes given the challenges some applicants may face. John Moxon suggested that the Anti-discrimination Board or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) could advise on appropriate standards and expectations. Donna Mosford stated that Community Capacity Building Staff would be available to assist with applications i.e. reading, scribing, general assistance where necessary. 


As the Council resolution stated that current membership would need to be reconfirmed through a public advertising/consultation process, the Committee understood that they, too, would need to submit EOIs if they wish to remain on the Committee.


ACTION: Donna Mosford and Chris McAlpine to write Access Committee Background Information and distribute to Committee members for feedback prior to finalizing the Information Packs.


ACTION: Donna Mosford and Chris McAlpine to assemble and distribute Information Packs including EOIs through local press, disability groups, networks and current members of the Committee.





7.1 You’re Welcome Project

Donna Mosford advised that John Evernden has not been in recent contact about the access audits he conducted at Dundas and Telopea Railway Stations as part of the ‘You’re Welcome’ Project. This project is funded through the Western Sydney Area Assistance Scheme (WSAAS) and is free of charge to Councils across Western Sydney.


ACTION:  Donna Mosford to contact John Evernden to request an update on the ‘You’re Welcome’ report.


7.2 Bus Stop Audit

The Committee asked if the Bus Stop Audit that Council has undertaken to determine how many bus stops in the Local Government Area (LGA) are accessible, has been completed. The audit will clarify whether or not Council meets the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 standards which state that 25% of all bus stops in the area need to be accessible by the end of 2007. 


ACTION: Donna Mosford to request an update on the Bus Stop Audit.


7.3 ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ DVD - distribution

Donna Mosford advised that the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)’s, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ DVD was distributed through a  database provided by Council’s Development Team to contacts that the Team considered most relevant in the pre-planning and planning process. 


7.4 After Hours access bell at Council Chambers Building

The Committee expressed it thanks that the bell has been moved to a position within reach of people in wheelchairs. However, members requested that the signage related to each of the buzzers is made larger and written in a clearer script. Donna Mosford informed Committee members about how to lodge Customer Service Requests to bring these issues to the attention of the appropriate Council staff.


ACTION: Donna Mosford to contact Building Maintenance to advise of the signage difficulties and to request changes.


7.5 Hearing Augmentation in the Town Hall

The Committee asked whether hearing loops have been installed in the Town Hall. Donna Mosford advised that there is a portable hearing augmentation system in the Town Hall but not a fixed hearing loop system. The Committee suggested that Council take action to install hearing augmentation systems in the Town Hall in order to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, so that people with hearing loss can engage in functions held at the Town Hall.


ACTION: Donna Mosford to investigate the current capacity of Town Hall to cater to people with a hearing impairment.


7.6 Carpet at Westfield

Donna Mosford advised that a letter from the Service Manager, Community Capacity Building, has been sent to Westfield Shopping Centre advising of that the carpet on levels three and four of Westfield Parramatta poses mobility problems for people in wheelchairs and some other groups. To date there has been no response.


ACTION:  Donna to contact Westfield to request a formal response.


7.7 Parking

The Committee acknowledged the addition of a disability parking space in front of the Council Chambers, and requested further information from Council about other changes to disability parking in the LGA.


ACTION: Donna Mosford to contact the appropriate Council Officer seeking advice about changes to disability parking in the CBD especially in relation to:


a)   The location of any new spaces allocated

b)  Time limits on the spaces

c)   The change in location of existing disability spaces within the past 8 months           


7.8 Customer Service Requests

At the August 2008 meeting it was mentioned that the Committee would like to receive information about Council’s Customer Service Requests regarding accessibility issues. It was suggested that details about these requests would inform the Committee of broad community access issues and this information could inform ongoing Committee business. However, as the Committee is about to go through an EOI process and a review of the Terms of Reference, it was suggested that further discussion about the how this information may inform the work of the Committee should take place when the Committee membership and focus is finalized.


7.9 Access Committee meeting time

The Committee agreed to keep the meeting time at 5:30pm as some members are unable to attend earlier.


7.10 Bus Stop south of Lennox Bridge

Donna Mosford advised that the bus stop has been moved, however, exact details will need to be confirmed.


ACTION: Donna Mosford to confirm the details of changes to the Bus Stop south of Lennox Bridge.




8.1 David Powell

Donna Mosford will contact David Powell to ascertain his interest in ongoing membership. It was noted that David’s wife has been very unwell and the Committee had agreed to maintain his membership regardless of his inability to attend meetings. David had been receiving agendas and minutes until recently when his email address became inactive. 


ACTION: Donna Mosford to attempt to contact David Powell to ascertain his interest in Committee membership.


8.2 Phillip Cornwall  

Phillip Cornwall did not receive the email notifying Committee members that the February 2009 Access Committee meeting was cancelled. As Phillip came to Council for the meeting, Donna Mosford reimbursed his disability taxi fare of $20.


8.3 Parramatta Cinema

Debbie Manuel advised the Committee that Greater Union Cinema in Parramatta is showing captioned films for people with a hearing impairment.






Access Advisory Committee Meeting

Tuesday, 16 June 2009, 5:30pm

Rooms 1 & 2 Ground Floor Meeting Room

Council Chambers Building

Civic Place, Parramatta



The meeting concluded at 7.13 pm