I WAS present at the Bathurst Regional Council ordinary meeting on November 15, 2023 when there was a very disappointing response by the director of Cultural Services to a question by local independent disability access advocate, Bob Triming, regarding the status of the proposed accessible toilet to service attendees at the library and art gallery.
The response to Bob's question regarding the current status of the accessible toilet project, which was to be built outside the current building, was that it has been paused for a "rethink" after the cost has blown out.
The director indicated that the current project has been at least 18 months in the planning stages.
However, previous articles in the Western Advocate cover progress over the last couple of years.
From the report on May 21, 2021 of the decade-long quest by Mr Triming to have this upgrade considered by council. The article on June 8, 2022 indicated that the plans were finally progressing. Then on July 5, 2023 it was reported that the DA had been lodged.
Now the "rethink" is considering options for the possibility of internal alterations in the art gallery/library complex to enable construction of an accessible toilet at a more modest cost.
While the current internal toilet facility met the standards when it was first built, the standards have changed and the toilet now falls short.
Those with electric wheelchair are unable to enter the bathroom in their wheelchair so they avoid going to that community facility.
Is it too much to ask for such basic facilities as an accessible toilet to be provided in a timely manner to cater for those citizens who would like to visit the art gallery or library, like everyone else in the community?
As Bob joked later, they don't need "a gold-plated toilet seat".