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Council Partners With QUT To Plan Inclusive Communities

Queensland University of Technology has invited Gympie Regional Council and community members to participate in a research project which aims to achieve better inclusive community planning for people with disabilities in regional areas.

The project, led by Dr Lisa Stafford, aims to uncover the meaning of an inclusive community, and people’s experiences living in the Gympie Region.

Researchers are calling on all local residents to complete a questionnaire. People with disabilities or chronic illnesses aged nine years and older have the option of completing a story board and participating in an interview with a researcher.

Dr Stafford says well planned inclusive communities benefit everyone while safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities.

“Many people with disabilities or chronic illnesses continue to experience exclusion due to social-attitudinal and physical barriers.

“Identifying how we can better plan communities for inclusivity is key and everyone’s involvement is needed to make communities inclusive for all,” she said.

For more information and to participate in the research, visit www.planninginclusivecommunities.com

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council under DE190101512 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA). QUT Ethics Approval Number.

A message from The Mayor - Wednesday, 1 July 2020 A message from The Mayor - Wednesday, 1 July 2020

There are many moments in life that stand out for all of us. Last week was one for myself when during the ordinary meeting on Wednesday, councillors were told by the Acting CFO,

“When Council adopted its budget for the 2019-2020 financial year, it forecast insufficient cash reserves at years’ end to maintain business operations.”

This comment stopped me in my tracks as we were never told this information, at any stage, during our budget deliberations for the 2019-2020 financial year. To hear this now is both frustrating and more than disappointing. I often use the metaphor of the titanic, but it’s how we as councillors feel and I’m sure how you as residents feel; we knew the iceberg was coming and did nothing about it.

And you’ve got to ask the question, why weren’t we told?

The most frustrating part is that the fallout and repercussions are huge. You can’t get past the basic fact that, had we known and addressed our financial issues back then, we wouldn’t be in the financial mess we are in now where budget cuts are not just a necessity, they are unavoidable.

Councillors continue to work on the budget and look at all options on how we can repair the damage, and we will, but it’s going to take time and we need to earn your trust by our actions.

We are on the right path, and will take another step on Thursday. A special meeting has been called to consider the appointment of a new CEO. And we will announce any decisions made as soon as we are able. There are exciting changes ahead, and a new direction for your Council.

Mayor Glen Hartwig