Four-year-old Bertie Wilton will never be able to walk, he doesn’t sit up, he can’t feed himself, cough or swallow.
His disability has not been diagnosed but it is a neurological condition.
When his parents take him on trips they are forced to change him in the back of their car (which they have to unload first), on the ground on a rug or in a disabled toilet, on the floor.
Disabled toilet facilities do not offer the facilities needed to care for someone who is profounding disabled, child or adult.
This is what his grandmother and Greater Hume Shire Council mayor wants to see changed.
Heather Wilton is pushing to have “changing places” installed along highways in every shire.
Changing places are common overseas and are a large room with change table, hoist to get the disabled person out of their wheel chair, large wash basin and room for the wheelchair to be brought in.
Currently changing places are not widespread. The only Cr Wilton knows of is in Melbourne.
“That’s not satisfactory,” she said.
“These children are like babies need to be changed frequently and it may not be just a nappy it may be all their clothes because they become soiled.”
Cr Wilton will present her case to the Local Government NSW conference in Wollongong on October 17 with the hope to secure state funding.
“I’m hoping the NSW state government can find $1 million to fund 10 along Hume Highway to being with,” she said.
“I would be highly offended if they said we needed to get sponsorship for the build.”
In the end, Cr Wilton hopes to see one changing place in every council and two in Greater Hume because there are two highways.
The Greater Hume Shire is in full support of Cr Wilton’s campaign to have changing places installed.
Cr Wilton is confident she will get full support from all councils and councillors at the conference.
“I don't think there would be one councillor who would stick their hand up against it,” she said.
“I could guarantee they know someone or have someone in their family circle who would need these.”
Changing places would not be able to be used by everyone and would have a system similar to disabled parking stickers.
People would need to apply through their GP and be issues with a keycard which would get them into all changing places.
For more information contact Heather on 0400 989 238.