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New grant initiative to strengthen access and inclusion in Australia

woman young woman in a wheelchair outdoors

Gunnedah Shire Council has launched a new round of grant funding to support business and community groups enhance accessibility and inclusion.

The Access Incentive Grants are part of the Community Resilience Fund – COVID-19 Recovery Package Invigorate Gunnedah, targeted at building business resilience and supporting recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

Grants of up to $2,000 are available for projects providing better access and inclusion of people with both physical and hidden disability. Improved access will also benefit people with long-term chronic conditions, temporary impairment, seniors with access concerns, parents with young children, and associated family, friends and carers.

Gunnedah Shire Councillors Gae Swain, Ann Luke and John Campbell were appointed to the assessment panel at the April Council meeting.

Chair of the Access Working Group Cr Gae Swain said better access will help to foster a vibrant and connected community.

“Better access is something that benefits all Gunnedah Shire residents and visitors,” Cr Swain said.

“These grants will help remove barriers and improve opportunities for people with a disability of all ages, allowing them to participate fully in community life.”

Working Group Chamber of Commerce representative Peter Jones said access improvements will also have flow on benefits for business.

“We know that improving access is good for business, helping ensure businesses are not missing out on a significant customer base,” Mr Jones said.

“I encourage businesses and organisations to consider if there is a project out there that can help make everyday life more inclusive to all community members.”

Projects eligible under the scheme may include:

  • Installation of an access ramp to the business or shop front,
  • Redesign of marketing collateral, for example signage or menus to appeal to broader demographics,
  • Changes to the fit out of premises to enhance manoeuvrability, access and safety for wheelchairs and for people with temporary mobility challenges, or
  • Installation of a hearing loop.

Applications for grants close 5pm Friday May 28, 2021. The grants must be matched by applicants with a 25% co-contribution, and projects completed before 30 June, 2022.

More information on the program, visit

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