News

Disabled 'blocked' from building: man calls for lift

NO ACCESS: A Bundaberg man says the gallery's second floor is off limits for people with disabilities.
NO ACCESS: A Bundaberg man says the gallery's second floor is off limits for people with disabilities. Contributed

A BUNDABERG man says he feels people with disabilities are being "blocked out” by the lack of a a lift to the second floor of the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery building.

Gordon Salzmann, who is an amputee, said he had been looking forward to an exhibition only to have his hopes dashed by a lack of access.

"The art centre doesn't have a lift,” he said.

"How the hell do I get up there? Fly?”

"I've been told that every year they put in for a lift and every year it gets knocked back.”

Mr Salzmann said he felt it was time the gallery modernised by incorporating a lift.

"That art centre's been going for over 20 years,” he said.

"The council can find money for ratbag schemes, but can't find not for a project.”

Mr Salzmann said he had been looking forward to the display of black and white prints and cameras.

"I was very disappointed,” he said.

"I did black and white photography for 20 years.

"Just because I'm disabled doesn't mean I'm not interested in art.”

Mr Salzmann said an added burden was the difficulty he often encountered trying to find a park near the gallery.

Bundaberg Regional Council community and cultural services spokeswoman Judy Peters said the council was committed to being inclusive.

"Disability access is invariably a major consideration and implemented in accordance with legislation in any new council projects or in instances where council venues may be the subject of refurbishment,” she said.

"Across the Bundaberg region, upper level access through the installation of lifts has been made available to people with disabilities at locations including the council's main administration centre, Childers Arts Space and Backpacker Memorial building, Fairymead House, the Civic Centre (lift to stage) and the old School of Arts building.

"Council is looking at an estimated cost of $224,000 to provide disability access to the upstairs Gallery Two and workshop space at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.”

Cr Peters said the council would continue to investigate funding for a lift in the building.

"It continues to be brought forward in budget deliberations and has again been included for the 2017/18 budget,” she said.

"The issue of disability parking spaces is also topical and council has recently increased this number in the CBD.

"Council is undertaking community consultation regarding revitalisation of the CBD and is inviting feedback from the community regarding any desired locations where providing this type of parking may improve access.”

Topics:  brag bundaberg bundaberg regional art gallery bundaberg regional council disabilities disability access elevator lift



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