Minister backs inclusive approach to help all people with disabilities

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Cr Margaret Chivers and NSW Disability Services minister Ray Williams opening a lift and change room at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre this morning.
Inclusive approach: Cr Margaret Chivers and NSW Disability Services minister Ray Williams opening a lift and change room at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre this morning.

A more inclusive approach was the way forward said NSW Disability Services minister Ray Williams this morning at the opening of a new lift and change facility at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre.

Mr Williams said more councils across NSW should be encouraged to provide such inclusive facilities.

“We have to do whatever we can to make life a little better for people with disabilities, and that’s what this lift and change facility does.

“Councils should be seriously considering installing such facilities to make their areas more inclusive, as Campbelltown Council has done here,’’ he said.

Lift and change facilities are larger than a standard accessible changing facility, and include extra features like ceiling hoists and more space to meet the needs of people with disability and their carers.

Cr Margaret Chivers, who was representing the Campbelltown mayor at the official opening this morning concurred with the minister.

Since she was first elected last September, Ms Chivers has been a strong advocate for more inclusive policies throughout Campbelltown.

The State Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong and Wollondilly councilor and director of Local Government NSW Michael Banasik also attended the opening.

Mr Williams said the NSW Government was committed to identifying opportunities to ensure people with disability can live life their way.

“The NSW Government understands a number of people with disability need more than a standard accessible change room,’’ he said.

“We are responding to this need and providing facilities with change tables and hoists to enhance access for all,” he said.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“Lift and change facilities in NSW will ensure people with disability, their carers, and families are not excluded from opportunities available to everyone else.”[/social_quote]

Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre is a multi-function swimming centre featuring a refurbished, 50-metre outdoor, eight-lane lap pool and water splash park, which is wheelchair accessible.

The lift and change at Macquarie Fields Leisure Centre facility received more than $63,000 in funding from Campbelltown City Council, and $35,000 from the NSW Government.

The facility is the third to be completed since the launch of the lift and change facilities trial in December 2015, and meets commitments in the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan and the NSW Carers Strategy.

Mayor of Campbelltown, Cr George Brticevic also welcomed the new facility as a demonstration of council’s commitment to providing inclusive and accessible public facilities.

“We’re proud to have partnered with the NSW Government and Local Government NSW on this project, which will open up a range of new opportunities for a significant segment of our community, helping them to live full and active lives,” he said in a media release.

Minister Williams and Cr Chivers
Minister Williams and Cr Chivers check out some of the equipment in the lift and change facility.

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