The Ballina Changing Places toilet facility has won an award.
The Ballina Changing Places toilet facility has won an award. Contributed

These toilets have won an award: What makes them so amazing?

A BALLINA public works project has been commended for providing a service many of us take for granted.

Ballina Shire Council received a highly commended in the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) NSW Engineering Excellence Awards for the category Design and Construction of a Local Government Public Works Project.

Ballina Shire Council was the first to install a Changing Places toilet facility in NSW. The facility, located in Tamar Street Ballina, opened earlier this year. The facility includes two unisex toilets and a conventional accessible toilet. The facility allows people with a severe or profound disability and their carers to enjoy day to day activities many of us take for granted.

Equipment includes an adult sized change table and ceiling hoist to use the bathroom.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare there are around 200,000 people with a disability who require assistance to use the toilet, with many requiring the facilities offered by a Changing Place toilet. However there are only a small handful of Changing Place or adult change facility toilets in Australia, posing a major barrier to social inclusion.

Project Manager and Council Engineer, Jamie Fleeting said: "We are delighted to be recognised for our efforts in providing facilities for those members of the community that are disadvantaged by the simple fact that these facilities don't exist everywhere. The Changing Place toilet is considered to be above and beyond the current legislated requirement and has been provided in addition to the 'required' accessible toilets."

The Changing Places bathroom can only be accessed using a Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK). For more information about MLAK keys contact Council on 6686 4444.

The Changing Places project originated in the UK in 2006 where there are now over 800 Changing Places facilities worldwide.



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