Changing Place in City of Melville offer specialised bathrooms for people living with disability

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey and Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher with plans for the new specialised bathroom facility at Deep Water Point.
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey and Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher with plans for the new specialised bathroom facility at Deep Water Point.

DEEP Water Point will join WA’s growing network of locations with specialised bathroom facilities designed specifically for people living with disability.

Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher visited Melville on Wednesday to announce that the popular Mt Pleasant reserve was one of 11 new Changing Places sites that would receive funding as part of the State Government’s $2 million commitment to the program.

Announced in May 2015, the statewide Changing Places network is designed to provide people with disability with the freedom to travel around their communities and beyond.

Changing Places are private facilities that are different to standard accessible toilets because they include an adult-sized change table, hoist and enough space for two people to help.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City was committed to being accessible, inclusive and breaking down barriers for people living with disability.

“I am very lucky; I have never had to change an adult that I care for on a cold floor in a public toilet,” he said.

“Some people might say that for them that would be inconvenient, frustrating and annoying.

“For me, I think it would be much more than that. I think it would be distressing, infuriating and would make me feel quite angry at the indignity I was putting the person under my care through.”

Mrs Faragher said she was proud that Western Australia was the first state in Australia to establish a Changing Places network.

“As Minister I take a very strong view that having a disability should not define you,” she said.

“In order to achieve that, we need to make sure that there are necessary supports and services available to ensure that people with disability can develop to their fullest potential.”

In December 2015, Changing Places funding was released for 14 locations including Cockburn, Albany, Broome, Geraldton, Mandurah, Narrogin and Toodyay.

The new announcement includes locations in Melville, Bunbury, Collie, Fremantle, Gingin, Joondalup, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Katanning, Port Hedland, Moora and Cunderdin.

In addition, a Changing Place has already opened at Elizabeth Quay and more are planned by State Government agencies at Waterbank, Yagan Square, the Scarborough foreshore redevelopment and the Perth Stadium.

The State Government will contribute $110,000 to the Deep Water Point facility, which is expected to open in late 2017 or early 2018.