City of Mandurah named Most Accessible Community in WA (MACWA) on Monday.

OPTIONS: The City ensured the temporary ice-skating rink that came to Mandurah in the winter was accessible to people with disabilities. Photo: Supplied.
OPTIONS: The City ensured the temporary ice-skating rink that came to Mandurah in the winter was accessible to people with disabilities. Photo: Supplied.

Mandurah was named the Most Accessible Community in WA (MACWA) on Monday.

The City of Mandurah took out first and second place in two of the three award categories in the 2020/21 MACWA Awards and was named overall winner.

It won the 'Infrastructure and public open space inclusion and accessibility' category and came second for 'Digital and technology accessibility initiatives' .

INNOVATIVE: The City has bought beach walkers and beach wheelchairs for community use, which are stored in a new shed at Keith Holmes Reserve.

INNOVATIVE: The City has bought beach walkers and beach wheelchairs for community use, which are stored in a new shed at Keith Holmes Reserve.

The City's Access and Inclusion Plan (AIP) aims to give people with disability the same opportunities as others.

Mayor Rhys Williams said Mandurah was a leader in this space.

"...we're proud to say the way we approach and incorporate accessibility and inclusivity has just become part of who we are and what we do. It's second nature, and how wonderful it is that our residents, visitors, people with disability, carers and support workers can all enjoy our amazing city together."

Chief Executive Officer Mark Newman recognised the efforts of City staff.

"We should be proud as an organisation that we've created more accessible spaces, places, events and services, which has a significant impact on people living with disability," he said.

The City's Access and Inclusion Advisory Group (AIAG), which includes people with disability, support agencies and community partners, provides feedback on the City's project plans and attends site visits to ensure accessibility is front of mind when designing new parks, open spaces, infrastructure and upgrades to existing spaces.

The AIAG has provided input into a range of projects recently including accessibility in the city centre, upgrades at San Remo beach (including ramp access to the beach shelter), Lakelands sporting facility, the Halls Head coastal boardwalk, and all stages of the Mandurah Waterfront Redevelopment project. The City has also bought beach walkers and beach wheelchairs for community use, which are stored in a new shed at Keith Holmes Reserve.

In the Digital and technology category, the City was awarded for the digital support, tools and networks provided for the community, and the positive effect they had on strengthening existing connections, particularly during the pandemic in 2020.

Last year's lockdown presented many opportunities to try new ideas and different ways of communicating to continue to support community members and sector groups, using online platforms and established networks to continue to develop networks with local groups and organisations.

This included guiding the community through new digital tools, delivering a number of programs, services, meetings and events online, and ensuring inclusion through digital connectivity. As a result of learning new ways to communicate, opportunities to provide better access for people with disability has improved.

This is reflected in the City's new website.

This year the City launched the updated Access and Inclusion Plan 2021-2026. During 2019-2021, the City undertook a review of the previous AIP and engaged with community members, local agencies and City staff to deliver an updated plan that will guide further improvements in access and inclusion.

Close to 500 people contributed to shaping the plan in a number of different ways, including community workshops, online sessions, phone calls and surveys.