Shire of Augusta-Margaret River revamped Recreation Centre faces user challenges in disability damage

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
The Margaret River Recreation and Aquatic Centre.
Camera IconThe Margaret River Recreation and Aquatic Centre. Credit: ORD PHOTO

Poor user behaviour was behind difficulties accessing the Margaret River Recreation Centre’s revamped disabled bathroom and change area, according to the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

The local government was subject to complaints from users of the centre who told the Times they weren’t able to access the new change facility on multiple occasions.

Ratepayer David Douglas said he needed the disability access area while he was recovering from major spinal surgery, but was consistently locked out and found staff unhelpful.

“For the last three weeks I have reported the disabled toilet and change room as not working,” he said.

“They fob me off by saying it was working this morning.

“Every day it is the same. I hate not being able to use these facilities when I need to and have paid for it in my membership.”

While the shire was tight-lipped about the specifics, the Times understands some of the new fixtures were broken by other users despite the pool only reopening at the end of March.

Sport and community recreation manager Dylan Brown said the disabled change rooms were subject to repairs and for now users had to request direct access.

“A major goal of the rec centre’s refurbishment was to improve access for everyone in our community, particularly people with disabilities, so it’s disappointing to report that the new accessible toilets and change rooms were misused in the past few weeks,” he said.

Mr Brown urged users to remember the centre was a shared public facility and to consider the effects on others when not doing the right thing.

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