Announced in the 2022-23 October Budget, The Australian Government is investing $32.2 million from 2022 to 2026 to offer one-third of the funding required to build a Changing Places facility in Local Government Areas currently without one.
Changing Places facilities are larger than standard accessible toilets and has extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with disability and their carers.
A Changing Places toilet facility allows individuals with high support needs to take part in all elements of community life, without having to limit their time out due to concerns about being able to access a suitable toilet. Changing Places provide suitable facilities for people who are not accommodated by standard accessible toilets.
Changing Places facilities include:
- a height-adjustable adult-sized change table
- a constant-charging ceiling track hoist system
- a centrally-located peninsula toilet
- more circulation space than standard accessible toilets
- an automatic door with a clear opening of 950mm at minimum
- a privacy screen
The Government’s funding commitment is being implemented in three Tranches: 2022-2023, 2023-2024, and 2024-2026. Bilateral discussions with states and territories are in progress, with a focus on ‘build-ready’ opportunities for funding agreements.
Future Tranches will provide an opportunity to consider funding arrangements including complex or bespoke build scenarios.
Funding and Funding Mechanisms
The Commonwealth will provide up to one-third of total cost per eligible facility. Build costs may vary amongst jurisdictions and between regional, remote, and metropolitan locations. Given this, funding allocation will be based on:
- estimated average cost of facilities, as determined by each state and territory, and
- evidence that average cost has been independently sourced from and endorsed by accredited builders or assessors of Changing Places facilities
The department is currently delivering funding through Federation Funding Agreements (FFAs) between the Commonwealth and states and territories. Alternative funding mechanisms may be considered in conjunction with FFAs, where appropriate for future Tranches.
Further information on FFAs can be found on the Federal Financial Relations website.
Sourcing of Remaining Funding and Co-Funding Opportunities
States and territories are encouraged to discuss collaborative funding contributions from Local Government Areas (LGAs), local councils, other Commonwealth funding grants, and appropriate third party contributors. Third party contributors may include tourism locations, shopping precincts, or existing builds. To remain eligible for funding under Commonwealth FFAs, jurisdictions must maintain overarching responsibility for project delivery and reporting.
Interested jurisdictions are asked to discuss specific build and funding proposals with the department, to determine the most appropriate pathway forward.
Eligibility and Funding Requirements
In order to meet eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth funding contribution, the proposed LGA for any new Changing Places location must not have an existing facility.
Once funding is received, building must begin within 12 months of receiving Commonwealth funding, and be complete within 18 months of build commencement.
All Changing Places facilities must be accredited by a Changing Places Assessor. Accreditation ensures that Changing Places are built to standard, so users can be confident that the design is fit for purpose.
It is the responsibility of the state or territory to ensure the newly built facility is accredited by a Changing Places Assessor.
The Commonwealth funding is a contribution towards the costs of building a Changing Places facility. All ongoing operational or maintenance costs are the responsibility of the state or territory.
Further information on Changing Places can be found at the Changing Places Australia website. The Changing Places Australia website is overseen by the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. It contains the following:
- a list of all accredited and registered Changing Places facilities
- the Changing Places Design Specifications 2020
- design files
- online registration and accreditation processes
Further information on the Changing Places Commonwealth funding offer can be found in the following Commonwealth Funding Offer Fact Sheet.
If you would like to contact the department to discuss the Changing Places budget initiative further, you can email ChangingPlaces@dss.gov.au.
Changing Places Links