The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee provides the community with a clear avenue into Council on access and disability issues and provides Council with guidance and assistance on the functions and responsibilities listed below.
The Regional Access and Disability Advisory Committee has been created in order to:
- represent the interests of people with access issues (including physical, social and cultural) to Council and the broader community.
- provide input to Council on development issues and Council projects.
- provide a consumer perspective into Council's continuous improvement processes concerning access.
- assist Council in the identification of emerging issues and trends relative to the needs of persons experiencing disability in the region.
- provide assistance with specific projects (identified by Council and/or the advisory committee).
- assist Council in disseminating appropriate material to facilitate community dialogue in regard to access (including physical, social and cultural) matters.
The committee have been involved in a number of projects, one of the biggest being the Access and Equity Plan 2016 – 2021. Further to this, they have had input in a number of infrastructure development including, Clewley Park toilet blocks, Queens Park toilet blocks, Grand Central re-development. The committee were also involved in developing the Toowoomba CBD accessibility map.
Committee goals for 2017
The committee aims to update the Toowoomba CBD accessibility map, form relationships with other community events/groups and look for suitable transport opportunities outside normal hours (evenings and weekends).
Regional Access and Disability Advisory Committee meetings occur monthly on the first Monday of each month (excluding public holidays) at 10.30am – 12.30pm.
How to contact the Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee
If you would like to contact the Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee please send us an email. This email will be received by the Community Development department who will ensure it is forwarded to the relevant committee member.
Committee members are from all different walks of life. A number of members have a disability or have a close family member with a disability, others work within the disability sector. All members are unique and play a vital role in the RADAC. Further information about membership is available in the blue Terms of reference slider.
Current committee members
- Sharon Boyce
- Robin Meredith-Bramwell
- Joyce Jones
- Wendy Adams
- Jessica Harris
- Noel Spain
- Susan Berghofer
- Anthony Lanigan
Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee members and Toowoomba Regional Council operate within the guidelines outlined in the Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee Member expectations document.
Council will ensure via the community development and facilities branch that:
- Meeting agendas are sent out a minimum of 5 days before scheduled meetings
- A Council officer is present to take minutes and lists recommendations for actioning
- Recommendations are listed and given to the Chairperson of the Environment and Community Committee for Councils consideration on an agenda of a meeting of a Council Committee
- Meeting minutes, actions and recommendations are provided in an appropriate format to members within 5 working days of advisory committee meetings
- Meeting venues are appropriate for the needs of advisory committee members
The following terms of reference have been established, outlining the responsibilities of the Committee.
Background / scope
The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee is constituted under Section 61 of the Local Government (Operations) Regulations 2010, which empowers the Toowoomba Regional Council to appoint advisory committees.
Tenure of committee and membership
The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee shall be established for the period of the current council’s tenure, unless disbanded earlier by council resolution.
The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee will consist of up to 13 members, which will include a Councillor, appointed by the Committee of Council. Where the Councillor cannot attend a meeting of the Advisory Committee, another person delegated by the Councillor may act as a member of the Advisory Committee for that meeting.
- Council will make Advisory Committee appointments, on a bi-annual basis.
- Expression of interest for new Advisory Committee members will be advertised regionally (via papers, internet and local networks).
- Replacement of resigned members during the year shall be at the discretion of the Advisory Committee and ratified by council.
- Council will provide appropriate support and resourcing to the Advisory Committee.
- The Chief Executive Officer may nominate relevant staff to assist the Advisory Committee; however, staff will not be members of the Advisory Committee or have voting entitlements.
All members of the Advisory Committee may vote on business before the Committee, except where the member has a conflict of interest.
If any member of the Advisory Committee is absent from three consecutive meetings without having obtained leave of absence from the Committee, the member’s continued membership on the Advisory Committee will be referred to the Chief Executive Officer for determination.
The Advisory Committee has the authority to establish special interest sub-groups and working groups as required to address specific matters identified by the Advisory Committee. These sub-groups (established under the same terms and conditions as Advisory Committee member) are to report back to the Advisory Committee.
The Terms of Reference and operation of the Advisory Committee will be reviewed on an annual basis with the aim of ensuring its ongoing relevance and sustainability.
The Chairperson shall be elected by the Advisory Committee to serve for a 1 year term.
If the Chairperson is absent or unavailable to preside, a member of the Advisory Committee chosen by the members present at the Advisory Committee meeting will preside.
The Quorum of any Advisory Committee meeting will be a minimum of 51% of the membership.
Times and Places for Meetings
The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee (at its first meeting) will determine the dates, times and places for its meetings. Council will be responsible for providing a suitable venue.
Unless otherwise provided in these Terms of Reference, the Advisory Committee will generally adopt informal meeting procedures. Where more formal procedures are required, the procedures described in Council’s Standing Orders shall apply.
Each member of the Advisory Committee has a vote on each question to be decided.Voting at a meeting must be open and questions decided by a majority of the votes of the members present, however, if the votes are equal, the member presiding has a casting vote. If a member present fails to vote, the member is taken to have voted in the negative.
Conflict of interest
Where Advisory Committee members have a conflict of interest, or could reasonably be taken to have a conflict of interest, in an issue being considered or to be considered at a meeting, the member must declare the conflict of interest to the meeting and must not be present while the matter, or a related matter, is being considered by the Advisory Committee or otherwise take part in any decision of the Advisory Committee in relation to the matter or a related resolution.
For the purposes of this clause, a member has a conflict of interest in an issue if there is a conflict between the member’s private interest and the public interest.
Open to the public
Meetings are to be open to the public, except where confidential matters are discussed.
When the Advisory Committee proposes to close a meeting to the public, the Chair will direct all persons, other than members of the Advisory Committee, to leave the meeting and every person will immediately comply with the direction.
Non-members may, with the permission of the Chairperson, address the Advisory Committee on any item of business listed on the agenda, however, a non-member will not vote on any matter at an Advisory Committee meeting.
Should matters of a confidential nature be discussed at a meeting, the meeting may be closed to the public in accordance with Section 72 of the Local Government (Operations) Regulations 2010.
A person who is or has been a member of an Advisory Committee must not make improper use of information acquired as a member.
- to gain, directly or indirectly, a financial advantage for the person or someone else;
- to harm the local government; or
- release information that the person knows, or should reasonably know, is information that is confidential.
The Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee will submit a report (Minutes listing actions, responsibilities, timeframes and outcomes) on each of its meetings to the Chairperson of the Environment and Community Committee, who will list any recommendations for council’s consideration on an agenda of a meeting of a Council Committee.
The Council will not generally authorise payment or provide remuneration to members of Advisory Committees, however where special circumstances exist, Council may resolve to pay remuneration, reimburse expenses and/or provide facilities to members of an Advisory Committee.
The Council will ensure that all members of the Regional Access & Disability Advisory Committee and/or sub-committee members as established from time-to-time, are covered by appropriate insurances (e.g. voluntary workers, public indemnity).
Council’s role and obligations are directed by the following laws and regulations:
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010
- Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
- Queensland Building Act 1975
- Building Code of Australia
- Council's Planning Scheme.