A FURIOUS Bob Triming was effectively locked out Tuesday night’s candidates forum because there was no wheelchair access to the event.
Greening Bathurst had organised the forum as chance for the community to meet candidates contesting the Bathurst Regional Council election on September 9.
All candidates were invited to take part but the wheelchair-bound Mr Triming – who is running as a candidate on Councillor Ian North’s ticket – was unable to join them.
The forum was held upstairs at The Oxford where the lift to the top floor has been out-of-order for some time.
“To add insult to injury, it was actually Paul Haysom and me who officially cut the ribbon on that lift a few years ago,” Mr Triming said.
Mr Triming said the incident highlighted just how far we had to go as a community to acknowledge accessibility issues.
“If every candidate was invited then I have every right to be there, too,” he said.
“There are plenty of people out there who do attend council meetings who are surprised when I say to them that the reason I’m supporting Ian North is because over the last 10 years a lot of the good work we’ve done in this area would not have happened without his support.
“The attitude of council staff has also changed dramatically in that time and they’re fantastic but there is still a way to go.”
In an angry email to the forum organisers and other candidates on Wednesday, Mr Triming said Tuesday’s debacle was not good enough.
“Whilst some people with a disability attended it was with considerable inconvenience and no doubt pain to access up a large flight of steps,” he wrote.
“As the only candidate (to my knowledge) who habitually uses a wheelchair, and that fact is well known in Bathurst, this is a gross and offensive act against not only me, but all those with a disability.
“I and all those with a disability want an apology!”