About the plan

Disability defined

 According to the Disability Services Act 1993 “disability” means a disability – 

  • which is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments; and
  • which is permanent or likely to be permanent; and
  • which may or may not be of a chronic or episodic nature; and
  • which results in –
    • a substantially reduced capacity of the person for communication, social interaction, learning or mobility; and
    • a need for continuing support services.

Our commitment to access and inclusion 

Western Australia’s unique environment is a valuable community asset, and one that the department is helping to protect for the benefit of current and future Western Australians. 

All members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the environmental impact assessment and water resource management processes as well as the development of policy and programs. 

The department is committed to providing consultation opportunities to all people, including those with disability, their families and carers, and the organisations that represent them, to ensure that barriers to access and inclusion are addressed appropriately. 

Diversity inclusion statement 

On 13 April 2018, the department’s Corporate Executive endorsed the following statement: 

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation works to ensure the state’s water resources and environment are healthy and able to support a strong economy and thriving communities, now and in the future. 

In undertaking this work we recognise the rights of all to mutual respect and acceptance without biases based on differences of any kind. 

We recognise and value the unique qualities, ideas and perspectives each brings to our workplace, and are sensitive to the challenges faced by some in the work environment. 

And we commit to a fair and inclusive workplace in which all employees are encouraged and supported to reach their full potential. 

Planning for better access and inclusion 

The Western Australian Disability Services Act 1993 requires all public authorities to develop and implement a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. The plan must outline the ways in which the department will ensure that all people have equal access to its facilities and services. 

The Disability Services Regulations 2013 provide for seven outcome areas. These also form the basis of our department’s Implementation Plan. 

The Western Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 recognises that people with disability require, and are entitled to, the same level of service available to other members of the community. This Act also makes it unlawful for a person to discriminate against any person on the grounds of impairment. 

This plan provides a framework for the identification of access and inclusion limitations at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. 

Strategies to improve access and inclusion 

This is the department’s first Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, however the three former agencies that make up the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have a long history of disability access and inclusion initiatives. 

The strategies implemented by the three former agencies were reviewed and those still to be achieved carry forward into this plan. 

Given the department’s proposed relocation to Joondalup, the strategies are designed to allow for a flexible response to emerging access and inclusion needs. 

At the time of writing, the department does not employ agents and contractors to deliver departmental services to the public. Should this change, the department will develop strategies to inform contracted service providers about the requirements of this Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. 

These strategies are documented on pages 6 to 8 of this document and will be used to guide the identification of initiatives in support of annual implementation plans for the life of this plan. 

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