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Accessible accommodation opens in Lake Macquarie

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State of the art accessible cabins in Lake Macquarie are set to welcome more visitors to the region.

The cabins were opened today by Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks at its Swansea Lakeside, Blacksmiths Beachside and Belmont Lakeside sites.  

Each cabin features technology that far exceeds Australian standards for people with a disability, these include ramps to each cabin, fully automatic doors and blinds, motorised adjustable shelves and benchtops and accessible bathrooms.

Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks Coordinator Garry Ellem said, “creating an accessible destination requires a big picture approach”.

“It’s more than just being wheelchair-friendly,” he said.

“It’s about catering for the many and varied needs of everyone, whether it is visitors with mobility restriction, parents with a pram or people with vision impairment.”

Other new accessible features include a wheelchair pool ramp at Blacksmiths Beachside, a wheelchair pool hoist at Belmont Lakeside, an aquatic wheelchair and accessible playground carousel at Swansea Lakeside and communal facilities across all three sites.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said she was proud to see the city forge ahead with its commitment to improve accessibility.

“Our Disability Inclusion Action Plan aims to create more liveable communities, and nurture positive community attitudes towards people with a disability,” Cr Fraser said.

“Providing this kind of accommodation and putting them front-and-centre in our holiday parks, helps us drive towards these goals.”

Sydney magazine editor and blogger Julie Jones, whose Have Wheelchair Will Travel blog catalogues her family’s travels, said there was “a distinct lack” of truly accessible accommodation.

Braeden and Mark Jones check out the view from the Belmont cabin.

The Jones family was the first to road-test the Belmont Lakeside accessible cabins last weekend.

“The attention to detail and consideration of the needs of people with a disability shown in the design and features of the Belmont property are the best we’ve seen in a mainstream accommodation provider’s offering,” Ms Jones said.

“The fact the accessible accommodation has a view is even more rare.”

Lake Macquarie City Council Ageing and Disability Advisory Panel member Lorraine Blair expected “huge” interest in the new cabins.

“To quote a well-known film, ‘build it and they will come’,” Ms Blair said.

“Council have shown they are really trying to make our area fully inclusive of all people, and there is a lot on the agenda for more exciting things.”

Go to the Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks website for bookings.

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