Speech by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Opening of ‘Changing Places’ facility at Brisbane Airport

Good morning everyone, thank you Stephen for that introduction.

I would also like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet, the Turrbul people, and pay my respects to elders past and present.

I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the opening of this incredibly important ‘Changing Places’ facility at the Brisbane airport, I am also delighted this service is available right here in my own backyard in Brisbane!

I congratulate everyone who has been involved in this momentous achievement and commend your commitment to improving the lives of people with disability and their families and carers.

Stephen, I would like to commend you and your Brisbane Airport team for your involvement in this project. Another important person to acknowledge today is, Eddie Chapman, Eddie thank you for your address earlier and congratulations to you and your organisation, the Association for Children with a Disability, for your role in bringing this life-changing facility to life.

The range of services the Association for Children with a Disability provides is invaluable for so many Australians living with disability, as well as their families and carers.

As we have heard, around 200,000 people with disability require assistance for toileting needs. I was incredibly moved when reading the real-life stories of people with disability and their families and the debilitating impact not having adequate toileting facilities has had on their lives.

This new ‘Changing Places’ facility will change that for so many Australians who require assistance to use the bathroom, something many of us without disability simply take for granted.

As most of you here today already know a lack of appropriate facilities is a fundamental barrier to social inclusion and accessibility.

Like you, the Government is committed to ensuring a national approach to supporting people with disability to maximise their potential and participate as equal citizens in Australian society.

But as we know through the National Disability Strategy and the roll out of our National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – Government cannot do it alone.

Achievements such as this ‘Changing Places’ facility here at our Brisbane airport is an excellent demonstration of what can be achieved when whole communities work together to address the challenges that people with disability face every day.

This example of collaboration demonstrates how we can all make our society more inclusive and enabling, providing dignity, equality and the opportunity for people with disability to have their human rights recognised so they can live a meaningful life and reach their full potential.

That is why I am so pleased to be involved in the opening of this ‘Changing Places’ facility which is a testament to the Association for Children with a Disability and the Brisbane Airport’s innovative and progressive approach to disability services.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of today’s celebrations.

Again I congratulate you on this great new facility, and thank you for contributing to transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

Thank you.