Council red-faced after cutting access to disability centre
The Brisbane City Council has been left red-faced after it cut disability vehicle access to a therapeutic equestrian centre while the owner was at a planning session for disability services.
Equus Terra owner Irina Aleksandrova was distressed to find a gate had been installed across the rear entrance to her business, off Brisbane Corso, Yeronga near the Ormonde Rd intersection.
Ms Aleksandrova, who has been running the centre for people with physical and mental disabilities for more than 15 years, said the rear access was the most viable entry for vehicles fitted to carry wheelchairs.
She said she was blindsided by the council's actions.
"When I came into the property and saw the beam I was completely distressed," she told The Courier-Mail.
"It was placed there after hours (on Wednesday) when I was at a Brisbane City Council workshop of the Brisbane inclusive draft plan.
"Vehicles to help people with severe physical disabilities, in wheel chairs, use that to drive up all the way."
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has acted swiftly to find an interim solution although the matter appears far from resolved.
"As soon as the Lord Mayor was made aware of the situation he directed officers to open the gate until the matter is resolved," a council spokesman said.
Ms Aleksandrova said she was given no warning that the access route, which was used by up to 15 vehicles a day, would be closed.
She was aware locals may be concerned by vehicles throwing up dust but to remedy that she had placed a 5km/h sign at the access entrance.
"My people obey those signs and apparently we are kicking up too much dust for their houses," she said.
"The Yeronga residents are very supportive of riding for the disabled … and we are able fight off the development …. everyone loves seeing horses in the middle of the city."
Local MP Mark Bailey said access needed to restored and that the issues surrounding the gate being erected were only minor.
"Programs that engage vulnerable members of our community should be celebrated and supported," Mr Bailey said.
Councillor Nicole Johnston (Tennyson) said dust suppression measures, such as watering, were being investigated.
"The good news is we have a potential solution as we certainly do not want any disruption to the wonderful work Irina does,'' Cr Johnston said.