A five-year plan that will further improve inclusiveness in Maitland for people living with disabilities will soon be implemented.
Maitland City Council approved the Maitland Disability Inclusion Action plan unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Councillor Loretta Baker, who moved an officer’s recommendation for councillors to adopt the plan, told Fairfax Media earlier this week that Maitland was already forward-thinking when it came to catering for those with disability.
She highlighted work done at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, such as the inclusion of exhibit information in braille form, as well as features of The Levee construction’s second stage, as prime examples.
Stage two of The Levee will see the construction of the Riverlink Building and Bourke Street link and the completion of the Riverwalk space. Work will also include:
- Replacing three backed seats without armrests in the Bourke St link with three longer backed seats with armrests, catering for about 12 people.
- Five benches will also be installed, higher than the ones placed in The Levee in stage one, with overhanging timber seating to make it easier to stand from a sitting position. These will be located in the upper level of Bourke Street link, three on The Riverwalk near Bourke Street link, and one large L shaped bench on the river side of the Riverlink Building, doubling as the edge of the alfresco seating for the café.
- Eleven table and seat sets the same as in The Levee state one (three with wheelchair spaces and all covered by larger umbrellas) will also be installed on The Riverwalk from The Riverlink Building to just past the Bourke Street link.
Councillor Robert Aitchison applauded the plan. “This is fantastic for the city. We have got the message out there and the people are happy. There is consideration for the environment and we are also identifying public transport,” he said.
“This is a five-year plan that will continue on and we will have reviews to see if this worked. It’s a great initiative,’” he said.
Cr Henry Meskauskas questioned funding for the project. Council’s Manager Community and Recreation Services Lynn Morton said funds are available in the current budget for the first year of the project.