A Tamworth Changing Places Facility is now complete and the Accessible Transport Hub shelter will soon be built in the heart of the CBD’s Bicentennial Park.
The facility will feature a transport component for community transport service providers and a ‘Changing Places’ facility to help many residents living with a chronic illness, disability or those in advanced age feel more comfortable to visit the CBD.
The hub will encompass both purpose-designed change facilities as well as nearby parking and transport infrastructure to assist with the loading and unloading of wheelchairs.
Why is this project so important?
There is currently a lack of change facilities which are suitable for adults in the Tamworth region.
Many residents living with chronic illness, disability or those in advanced age and their carers often avoid visiting high-profile public places like Tamworth's CBD as it can be extremely difficult to clean or change an adult without the necessary equipment.
Providing a facility like the Changing Places Facility & Accessible Transport Hub only 100m from the Peel Street shops will provide these residents with the confidence to get out and about in Tamworth.
We expect the facility to accommodate a high level of daily use from both our local residents, as well as visitors travelling through our region.
Can I access the new facility?
Residents and visitors with a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) will be able to access the facility.
This is a nationally used key that allows Australia's disabled community to access specialised equipment while preventing vandalism.
The hub will encompass both purpose-designed change facilities for the elderly and disabled communities and their carers, as well as nearby parking and transport infrastructure to assist with the loading and unloading of wheelchairs.
The 'Changing Places' certified amenities building will include;
- a height-adjustable adult-sized change table
- a constant-charging ceiling track hoist system
- a centrally-located peninsula toilet
- a shower
- an automatic door with a clear opening
- a privacy screen
- seating and ambulant hand rails.
The transport infrastructure includes the construction of:
- Parking bays for minibuses and disabled taxies
- A concrete path between the parking bays and the Changing Places building
- Surrounding kerb for pedestrian safety, line marking and signage
Representing an investment of $625,000, the Changing Places Facility & Accessible Transport Hub is one of the projects to be funded by the Australian Government’s recent Local Roads and Infrastructure Program, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A further $252,150 has been invested by the NSW Government, which will enable the construction of outdoor roofing and shade as well as additional embellishments for the facility.
Staff have worked with a formed Disability Community Transport Hub Working Group who are represented by members of community transport providers, disability service providers, carers and transport representatives. The purpose of this Working Group was to assist in facilitating the project from a conceptual stage to inception stage whilst ensuring that it meets the needs of all user groups who would be reasonably expected to use the facility.
Further community consultation was also undertaken in April / May 2021.