Council is breaking down barriers by preparing its first integrated social policy to ensure a fairer Hobsons Bay for all – and it’s time for the community to have its say.
The draft A Fairer Hobsons Bay for All 2019-23 Policy provides a framework for all of Council’s social services to the community. It also acknowledges priority populations such as young people; older people; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; people with a disability; women and girls; or anyone identifying as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual (LGBTIQA+) and gender diverse communities.
Joint Social Wellbeing and Community Services portfolio holder Councillor Tony Briffa said the draft policy combined five existing policies to remove duplication, identify gaps and ensure Council’s work is based on the principles of social justice.
“We are proud to present a policy that promotes fair access to services, fair opportunity to participate and fair treatment to encourage equity and reduce social disadvantage,” said Cr Briffa.
“The policy’s actions are broad. They include actions such as ensuring priority populations are considered in the planning of safe, connected, walkable and rideable neighbourhoods, advocating for greater access to public transport for people of all abilities and supporting an increase in affordable housing.
“We will plan and advocate for improved access to mental health and wellbeing services, as well as celebrate diversity and challenge discrimination to foster a socially inclusive community that welcomes people regardless of gender, sex, intersex status, sexuality, culture, faith, disability and age.”
Council welcomes all community members to view the draft policy and provide feedback through Participate Hobsons Bay until 24 July. The draft policy complements the Hobsons Bay 2030 Community Vision for an inclusive, resilient and healthy community and will be implemented through a four year action plan.
Joint Social Wellbeing and Community Services portfolio holder Councillor Colleen Gates said Council’s primary objective is to work towards improving the overall quality of life of people in Hobsons Bay.
“Council has worked closely with the community to develop this draft policy to identify gaps and improvements to support people in our community who experience challenges,” said Cr Gates.
“It could be improving access to healthy, affordable food, to working with children, young people and their families to create a gender equitable community that fosters respectful relationships.
“From facilitating and advocating for affordable and flexible education to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to preserve and enrich our cultural heritage – our plan is clear and all-encompassing and now we want to hear from you.”
The draft A Fairer Hobsons Bay for All 2019-23 Policy is now available for public comment until Wednesday 24 July. To view the draft policy, visit http://participate.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au. For access to interpreters, please contact Hobsons Bay Language line on 9932 1212. Council also has an Access and Inclusion Officer available on 9932 1000 to assist anyone with a disability.