Tuesday, 13 February 2018
$1.7m accessible toilet infrastructure investment must be more than a pipedream
Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent demands that the government reassure South Australians that Changing Places toilets will be built as announced, following a statement today confirming that the Victorian program overseeing the accreditation of these facilities will cease in late February or early March.
The Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) in Victoria, who own the trademark for Changing Places in Australia, wrote to stakeholders today confirming that their management of Changing Places would soon end. Following from a difference of opinion with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) relating to the jurisdiction and standards, the future of the program in Australia is now unclear.
The Dignity Party secured $1.7 million to build high level accessible public toilets with features like adult-size change tables and hoists, known under the brand Changing Places, around South Australia. So far this includes 8 metropolitan and regional facilities, as well as two ‘Marveloo’ portable toilet facilities.
“The government must act swiftly to deliver on its promise of dignity and autonomy for thousands of South Australians, including our ageing population,” said Ms Vincent.
“People with disabilities have been waiting for Changing Places to come to our community for a long time, and the recent announcements have built great expectations. The government must immediately reassure South Australians that they will continue the funding and construction of Changing Places or an equivalent,” said Ms Vincent.
Despite the uncertainty over the Changing Places brand, Ms Vincent said there were opportunities to turn this situation into a positive for South Australia, stating that no matter which name or logo the facilities have, what matters is that they are funded and built to specification.
“There is a fantastic opportunity here for South Australian builders and manufacturers. While the Labor Government has been making announcement after announcement without proper planning, the Dignity Party has been establishing relationships with both interstate accreditation experts and local manufacturers to make sure we get this done as promised, within budget, and using South Australian skills and materials.”
“Changing Places were already a win for equality, now I call on the government to join me in making this project a win for South Australian manufacturing,” said Ms Vincent.