Changing Places Facility completed
People with disability and elderly will now have access to a certified ‘Changing Places’ facility in the heart of Tamworth. The new facility makes it far easier for residents and visitors with chronic illness, disability or those in advanced age to visit the Tamworth CBD with the assurance of access to a suitable adult change facility.
Designed to make visiting the CBD an easier and more enjoyable experience for disabled /elderly residents and their carers, the new facility provides a purpose-built toilet and change facility, including ceiling track hoist, adult change table, a shower as well as nearby parking bays and transport infrastructure to assist with the loading and unloading of wheelchairs.
The new facility’s location in Bicentennial Park near the No. 1 Cricket Oval was chosen due to its close proximity to Peel Street shops, allowing residents to utilise the nearby pedestrian crossing before travelling through Fitzroy Plaza.
Significant community consultation for the project was undertaken in 2018, with the design for the new facility following strict ‘Changing Places’ accreditation criteria.
Disability providers and advocates have attended information sessions and practical demonstrations at the facility with Council to understand how the facility and tailored equipment works. An MLAK or Master Locksmiths Association key, commonly used across the state for access to accessible infrastructure, will be required to access the new facility. For those not already in possession of an MLAK key, these can be ordered at https://masterlocksmiths.com.au/mlak/.
The new facility will be open from 9am Monday 5 September to the public with access to an MLAK key, construction on the shelter at the adjacent accessible parking bays will begin in the coming months to provide protection from the elements.
Member for New England and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Barnaby Joyce said it’s facilities like this that continue to grow regional Australia, as we continuously lift the standard of living for people in Tamworth.
“It is only right that we tirelessly stand up, and fight for those less fortunate in our communities and I hope the former Coalition Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program continues to do this long into the future,” Mr Joyce said.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the ‘Changing Places’ facility was a much-needed addition to the Tamworth CBD and a big win for local disability advocates who had spent six years campaigning for the facility.
“This facility will be a game-changer for disabled and elderly residents and their carers who will be able to access the CBD more easily and use the purpose-built facilities that they require to live a happy, healthy life while enjoying all the sights and sound of Tamworth CBD,” he said.
“It’s also a big win for disabled and elderly tourists who often travel very long distances to come to Tamworth. They now have the facilities they need to feel comfortable visiting Tamworth, which is great news for our local economy.”
Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said that the facility will be great for people living with disability and elderly residents of the Tamworth region visiting the Tamworth CBD.
“Council has been working hard with some key people on this project for a number of years and now with thanks to funding from all levels of government it is a reality. This is great for our disability and elderly residents who will now be able to visit the Tamworth CBD with greater comfort and assurance.”
For more detail regarding the new facility, visit https://haveyoursay.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/disability-transport-hub
A $625,000 investment in our community, the Changing Places Facility and Accessible Transport Hub has been fully funded by the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI). The LRCI program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A further investment of $252,150 is being made by the NSW Government through their Regional Tourism Acceleration Fund, which will enable the construction of shelter and shade for the Accessible Transport Hub as well as additional embellishments for the facility.