Item 11.1 - Attachment 1

Access Advisory Committee Minutes April 20 2010






Leonie Clarke, Jim Grainda, Barbara Jones, Debbie Manuel, John Moxon and Duy Quang Nguyen




Tanya OwenCommunity Capacity Building Officer and Joy Bramham – Administration Officer.




John Moxon welcomed everyone to the Access Committee.


John Moxon acknowledged the Burramatugal Clan of The Darug, the traditional land owners of Parramatta and paid respect to the elders both past and present.



2. APOLOGIES (Clarke/Jones)


Apologies were received and noted for Peter Simpson.




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


4. Confirmation of Previous Minutes from 16 February 2010


A copy of the Minutes of the Access Advisory Committee meeting held on 16 February 2010 had previously been forwarded to each member.


RESOLUTION           (Grainda/Manuel)


That the Minutes of the meeting of the Access Advisory Committee held on 15 December 2009 be taken as read and confirmed with the following amendment:-

“Pervious minutes” changed to “Previous Minutes”



5.1 Letter from Westfield regarding letter sent about carpet/noise


The CEO, Dr Robert Lang, received a letter from Westfield in response to the letter sent raising the issues of carpeting and noise levels in Westfield Parramatta. The letter informed Council that the carpeting was going to be replaced in the near future and the Committee’s concerns have been forwarded to the design and refurbishment consultants.


The Committee noted that the letter did not address the issue of noise reduction and that while the concerns were noted, no commitment was made to address concerns according to Australian Standards.


The Committee asked that Tanya Owen contact Westfield via phone to get further clarification on the exact date that the carpets will be renewed, what carpet or floor covering will be used, where it will be installed and what the response to the noise complaints might be. The committee agreed that while the phone call might get clarification, a letter should also be sent so that there is documentation of this process.


RECOMMENDATION: That a letter to Westfield be sent seeking an assurance that the issues raised previously namely the floor covering and noise levels, will meet Australian Standards.


5.2 Corner of Harris and Crown Streets – following up with further info from Committee member


Leonie Clarke tabled correspondence regarding Crown and Harris Streets. The correspondence referred to Vision Australia teaching clients not to cross the road near intersections. While the letter did not state if this was the problem with the refuge, it may be that the pedestrian refuge is close to the intersection, and hence is what is causing concern.



1. Tanya Owen to contact the correspondent regarding further clarification of the issue.

2. Tanya Owen to contact Vision Australia to obtain information on any policy and recommendations they may have for the crossing concerned.


RECOMMENDATION: That Council adopt Vision Australia’s recommendations regarding their application to the crossing concerned.


5.3 Review of Public Domain details for Disability Access – update


There was a meeting with Kati Westlake however Eric Martin was not in attendance as his consultant contract with Council had ended. Kati Westlake explained that other departments are also to be consulted and the final document is currently being complied. The final document can either be emailed out to committee members or Kati Westlake was happy to meet with committee members to present the finalised document.


John Moxon stated that bus stops were not included in this document and that he would be arranging a meeting with Geoff King regarding specifications. He noted that the Victorian standard (believed to be Bus Stop Guidelines Feb 06, Vic Roads) has become the de facto national standard. Debbie Manuel stated that in a recent resident survey regarding bus stops, there were a small number of questions regarding accessibility of bus stops. John Moxon mentioned that other Council’s have consultants conduct bus stop audits.


The Committee discussed the Anti Discrimination Act and how within 20 years all bus stops must be accessible. What “Accessible” means has not been defined by law. 


5.4 Evac Plus Chair in Council Chambers – follow up


Tanya Owen has had communication with Roy Gumkowski, the OHS Service Unit Partner at Council regarding Evac Chairs and procedures for evacuating people with physical mobility issues. Roy explained that, during an emergency requiring clearing of the floor, persons with mobility impairments are moved to a fire escape landing to await assistance from emergency services personnel. Fire escapes are designed to be the safest area in the event of fires. Should there not be an emergency, but a lift failure, contact with emergency services to facilitate exit out of the building is recommended.


Roy noted that Evac Chairs are an option and have considerable merit as “a service based community we are required and we do cater for all community groups”. However, Roy also noted that his budget does not allow for the purchase of such chairs.  


The committee agreed that it would be necessary, in the first instance, to have an Evac Chair for levels 1, 2 and 4 of Council chambers and Level 11 of Darcy Street, where meetings attended by people with disabilities are regularly held.


Australia doesn’t have a standard regarding the evacuation of people with disabilities


RECOMMENDATION: That council purchase Evac Chairs for:

1) Level 1, Council Chambers 2) Level 2, Council Chambers, 3) Level 4, Council Chambers, and 4) Level 11, Darcy Street Building

Further, that egress for people with disabilities be adequately addressed in the design of any new buildings in Civic Place.


5.5 Westfield / interchange and shopping trolleys


Tanya Owen investigated the claim that shopping trolleys cannot be taken into the bus interchange from Westfield, and reported the following:-

1. Parramatta treats the abandonment of shopping trolleys as an offense by the user of the trolley, and can fine perpetrators.

2. The Interchange is jointly owned by Council, City Rail and Westfield. The contract has not yet been finalised and the matter of shopping trolleys is yet to be addressed in the contract. To date, no law exists that prevents trolleys being taken into the interchange.

3. Westfield has no policy that prevents someone taking a trolley to the interchange.

4. Woolworths and Coles have no policies that prevent someone from taking a trolley to the interchange

Until the contract is finalised and there is a definite statement on who owns the Interchange, members of the public should be able to access the bus interchange with a shopping trolley. If security tries to prevent this from happening, people are advised to state the above information and ask which specific policy is being applied to prevent them from taking the trolley into the interchange. It may be preferable, and the only option if a law and/or policy comes into effect, to ask for assistance in carrying bags to bus stops.


5.6 Report back on card use by Duy Nguyen


Duy Nguyen had the cards printed as suggested at the previous meeting, has found them to be helpful, and has only been left on the station once.



6.1 Effective monitoring of disabled parking spaces (particularly in Woolworths Rosehill)


People are using disabled parking spaces without a permit and there appears to be little/no patrolling to monitor this and ensure compliance. John Moxon informed the Committee that the owners of the car park would have to have a contract with Council for Council Rangers to patrol the car park. 


ACTION: Tanya Owen to investigate to see if there is already an agreement and request more frequent patrols.


RECOMMENDATION: If Council does not already have an agreement with the Woolworths at Rosehill, that Council approach the owners of the car park about entering into an agreement.


6.2 Ramp slope at Pendle Hill Station


The Committee received correspondence regarding the steepness of the slope at Pendle Hill station and that it is too steep to be safely used by wheelchair users.


RECOMMENDATION: That Council write to CityRail regarding this issue, asking that this concern be addressed in the upgrade process for train stations.


6.3 Access at Clyde Station


The Committee received correspondence regarding access at Clyde Station – there is no immediate access. There is a chair lift, but it has to be booked 24hrs in advance.


RECOMMENDATION: That Council write to CityRail regarding this issue, asking that the station receive priority in the upgrade process for train stations.


6.4 Taxis in Parramatta City Centre


The Committee raised the following concerns regarding the report submitted to Council by Transport Planning :-

1. Only 2 members of the Access Committee were consulted.

2. There are no stopping points for taxis, to either drop off or pick up passengers near the Church or Argyle Street entrances to Westfield, reducing accessibility. Because of the slope of Church Street, Argyle Street would be the preferred placement of a taxi drop off/pick up point.

3. Related to 2, the taxi rank is too far from the bus interchange (during the day under the proposed changes), also adding to the difficulty of access to Westfield.


The Committee discussed that accessible taxis must be booked either on line or by phone, and that a surcharge of 10% is applied to card payment.


RECOMMENDATION: That Council consider enabling a taxi drop off/pick up area on Argyle Street near the Westfield entrance, which is currently only a Bus Zone.

Further, that the Access Committee be consulted more widely when reports and final policies are being drawn up on access related issues such as policy around taxi use and planning in Parramatta.


6.5 Companion Cards


Companion cards can only be used if a disabled person needs a full time carer and is unable to use public transport by themselves.


6.7 Disability Access - General


The Committee received correspondence regarding the general trouble wheel chair users are having around Parramatta due to paths to road crossings being too steep and causing fear around wheelchair control. Westfield was also mentioned as the lifts are often full and the travelators are not in convenient places.


6.8 City Rail service / time table – Bankstown – Blacktown/Penrith


Duy Nguyen shared correspondence from City Rail that advised that direct services between Bankstown and Blacktown/Penrith had been suspended due to light patronage and service reliability problems. City Rail will be looking at improving services between Bankstown and Lidcombe.


6.9 Correspondence from Northcott


Correspondence was received from Northcote and raised the following issues:-


· Footpath – dilapidated surface opposite the Parramatta Leagues Club

· Footpath crossover near Parramatta Stadium and Parramatta Pool is too steep for wheelchairs both manual and power

· River cat at Parramatta – the ramp is too small and makes it hard for people with wheelchair access

· Pedestrian Access Traffic light button to be located further down the pole for easier access for people in wheelchairs throughout the Parramatta LGA

· Carpets in the lifts at the Parramatta train station or non slip flooring to ensure people do not slip over

· There should be a charge for trolleys, up to $1 or $2, with ad refund when the trolley is returned. Also, have trolley collectors do more patrols of the surrounding footpaths of the complex to ensure footpaths ate free of trolleys.

· Footpath- needing repair on the corner of O’Connell and Fennell Streets

· Lots of shops are difficult to access in a wheelchair. Lots of shops with crowded aisles that make it difficult for wheelchairs to safely manoeuvre around

· Security cameras at the train stations in case of fighting or someone being pushed down

· Alarm line for move away because the wheelchairs and scooters will get ready to go at the train station (Notice of when a train as about to arrive at the station so that Wheelchairs and scooters can be ready to disembark)


The Committee recommended that the issues regarding Council infrastructure access can be logged with Council using a Customer Service Request. This can be accessed through Councils website ( where people can provide the detail required and track progress. People can also speak with Council’s Customer Service in person or call 9806 5000, to be assisted in making a Service Request.


6.10 Walk with Me


Correspondence was received from Duy Nguyen regarding sponsorship for Walk With Me. Sponsorship can be made online at


6.11 Productivity Commission Inquiry


Tanya Owen asked if Committee members would like to have a copy of the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Disability Care and Support distributed to them.


Action: Copies of the Productivity Commission Inquiry to be distributed to Barbara Jones, Debbie Manuel, Jim Grainda and Duy Nguyen.


6.12 Article from Parramatta Sun


An article from the Parramatta Sun 3 June 2009 was submitted regarding Duy Nguyen and cuts to City Rail staff. 


6.13 Access Codes


Tanya Owen informed the Committee that she has enrolled in a short seminar about the proposed new Access Building Standards, likely to take effect in 2011.


6.14 DCP / LEP


The exhibition period for the Draft LEP and Draft DCP ends on 5 May 2010. The Committee should look and see that previous concessions for access are still included in the Draft.


6.15 International Day for People with Disabilities working Party


The next IDPWD working party will meet on Tuesday 27 April 20120 at 12pm.




 5:30pm 22 June 2010

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2

Council Chambers Building 


The meeting concluded at 7:23 pm