Shire of Mundaring was recently involved in a collaborative launch of a Changing Place Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK) program. The program is based at BP The Lakes Roadhouse Changing Place on Great Eastern Highway.
These facilities, such as the one at BP The Lakes, break down barriers and help ensure people can access convenient and appropriate public restroom facilities that meet their needs when they're away from home. They include a secure automatic door, hoist and adult changing table and are large enough to allow for two people including carers to assist someone to meet their needs. BP is the first business ever in the private sector to provide a Changing Place.
The Changing Place was officially launched by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson. At the launch, Minister Dawson acknowledged the significant collaboration between the Shire of Mundaring and BP to deliver the facility. "I congratulate BP and the Shire for leading the way in providing accessible and inclusive facilities that reflect the diverse needs of the community," he said.
The initiative involves providing a free MLAK offer for current WA Companion Cardholders to access the Changing Places network. It is important to keep Changing Places safe and secure when they are not in use, so they are always available for those who need them.
Anita Gamba, of Parkerville, also spoke at the launch. She highlighted the importance of the 15 Changing Places rest rooms in WA. "It helps restore the dignity of people who live with disabilities by providing places where private can be kept just as that – private," she said.
This initiative demonstrates what can be achieved through working together, in this case BP, the Department of Communities (Disability Services), National Disability Services WA and the Shire of Mundaring as well as People with Disabilities WA and Carers WA. The Department granted funding to NDS WA to research a locking system for Changing Places, to support the best possible outcome for people with a disability.
Minister Dawson also acknowledged Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia, which manufacture the MLAK system, and provided the key at a negotiated price to NDS WA in support of the initiative.