It's a basic human right to be able to access a clean, safe and private place to go to the toilet, yet it's a right denied to some in our own community.
Chief Executive Officer of Vivability, Nick Packham, is calling on Bathurst Regional Council to provide a Changing Places Toilet in the Central Business District.
Mr Packham said Changing Places provide suitable facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
"A Changing Places facility allows people with high physical support needs to fully participate in the community. This may include people with an acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, degenerative neurological disease as well as many people with a disability," he explained.
Mr Packham said Changing Places facilities provide a height adjustable adult sized change table, a ceiling track hoist system, a toilet, circulation spaces to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities and their carers, an automatic door and a privacy screen.
They are accessible 24 hours per day via an MLAK Key.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
Mr Packham said the provision of a Changing Places toilet is a step towards meeting the intent of the Disability Discrimination Act by creating an environment inclusive of all people.
"Bathurst has no Changing Place available to the public. It is an unacceptable situation for a city that prides itself on good community facilities and a significant tourism industry.
"Bathurst hosts many major events, however visitors do not have access to Changing Places. I believe that a Marveloo (Portable Changing Place) should be a standard requirement for all major events in the Bathurst Region.
"It is notable that all registered and approved Changing Paces are included on the National Public Toilet Map, a national map that people with disabilities, their families and their carers refer to this map as part of their holiday planning.
"Currently Bathurst is being bypassed as the facilities do not exist.
Mr Packham, who narrowly missed out on a position in the recent Local Government election, said the issue was raised with him during his campaign.
"I know it's been raised with the council and they have indicated that this project will not be included in next year's budget."
He said it's an issue he intends to continue pushing.
"The Bathurst Regional Council needs to include the first Changing Places facility in the 2022/23 budget.
"This is a rights issue, I believe that we have not had any progress on it due to a lack of awareness rather any conscious decision to ignore the rights and needs of people with disability," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: