Creating accessible community pools for all to enjoy
  • Thursday 12 July 2012

Community wellbeing will be enriched by improved access with the installation of the latest technology pool hoist to the indoor heated pool at the Caloundra Aquatic Lifestyle Centre.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said the installation of the new hoist at Caloundra Aquatic Lifestyle Centre delivers on a priority highlighted in council’s Access and Inclusion Plan 2011-2016.

"After extensive community consultation one of the focus areas of the plan identified a need to improve access to council owned and managed facilities and open spaces," he said.

"We are working towards creating accessible community facilities and open spaces that allow safe, independent, dignified and equitable use of spaces and places.

"Council is committed to reducing barriers to participation by improving access to community facilities, such as the Caloundra Aquatic Lifestyle Centre, for all community members to enjoy.

"We have also recently installed similar pool hoists at Cotton Tree, Nambour and Noosa Aquatic Centres thanks to the support from Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

"The new hoist enables people to participate in regular aquatic exercise and recreation.

"One of the biggest advantages of the new hoist is that it does not require any manual lifting and is operated by a press button hand switch, with a lifting capacity of 150kgs.

"It has a manual 360 degree swivel capability, can be used with a floating sling, plastic seat, strengthened wet wheelchair or a spinal board and ensures correct support for people with various levels of disability.

"Importantly it also allows a wet wheelchair to be lowered right to the bottom of the pool."

Chief Executive Officer of Compass Institute David Dangerfield said the installation of the new pelican pool hoist at the Caloundra Aquatic Lifestyle Centre is a real plus.

"It will make accessing a vital therapeutic and recreational facility much more convenient for people with disabilities – a significant portion of our community," he said.

"In 2009 just under one in five (18.5%) Australians had a disability, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"As a result of far sighted and inclusive policies such as this, many Australians with a disability have gone on to successfully represent our country at the Paralympics in swimming – a sport so suited to the Australian lifestyle.

"I congratulate the council on this addition to their already excellent facilities."