Lifts, hoists, ramps and an adult accessible changeroom are some of the accessible features of the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre with local disability organisations providing input into the plans.
As part of a community consultation process, organisations including Spinal Life Australia have provided feedback on the major project.
Set to start construction later this year, the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre will feature a 50 metre, heated, undercover competition pool, a 25-metre heated indoor pool, an indoor program pool, a café and spectator area.
Not only will it be a training ground for world-class local athletes, but it will also be a recreational and remedial space for the whole community to enjoy.
Spinal Life Australia peer support volunteer Pat Allison has welcomed plans to construct a modern aquatic facility accessible to all.
Pat said she believed the facility would be a positive addition to the Bundaberg Region, providing a space for the entire community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
“It's user-friendly for all, especially members of the disability sector,” she said.
“The accessible ramp at the side of the pool is well designed, the accessible toilet and shower with the lift table and extended shower hose is excellent.”
Pat said many people who had injuries or a disability used swimming as a way to exercise.
“Two members that I know of from Bundaberg Spinal Life use swimming for exercise with limited facilities available,” she said.
“I hope the Aquatic Centre will be built and finished so we can all benefit.”
Plans to progress the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre are well underway, with Council recently applying for additional grant funding to support the development.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the centre was a generational benefit that would create economic, health and social benefits for many years to come.
“Council has applied for a grant from the Federal Government under Round 6 of the Building Better Region Fund to support delivery of the pool,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This flows on from the more than $13 million committed from the State Government, with the application garnering support from many local sporting and community groups who are eager to see this development go ahead.”
Mayor Dempsey said the three pools featured in the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre went above and beyond the requirements for accessibility stipulated in the National Construction Code.
“Discussions with pool designers, physio therapists and Spinal Life advocates have helped in Council's understanding of exactly what is needed to ensure everyone in the community can enjoy and access the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre,” he said.
“This includes Bundaberg’s first adult accessible change room which will feature a lift and changing table.
“This room can also be used to transfer people from their own chair into a waterproof chair.”
The Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre will begin construction mid-year and is expected to generate more than 120 jobs during the initial stages.