First purpose-built alpine accommodation for people living with a disability to be built at Falls Creek

YMCA Howmans Gap manager Matthew Charles-Jones, Sport and Recreation Victoria Camps and Outdoor sector manager David Strickland, Victorian Mental Health Minister Martin Foley and Disabled WinterSport Australia chair Jim Blackburn turn the first sod at construction of Australia's first purpose-built alpine accommodation for disabled visitors.

YMCA Howmans Gap manager Matthew Charles-Jones, Sport and Recreation Victoria Camps and Outdoor sector manager David Strickland, Victorian Mental Health Minister Martin Foley and Disabled WinterSport Australia chair Jim Blackburn turn the first sod at construction of Australia's first purpose-built alpine accommodation for disabled visitors.

The country’s first alpine accommodation with disabled access will be complete at the Howmans Gap Alpine Centre at Falls Creek in June.

The first sod was turned on Wednesday to start construction of a $3.1 million facility offering 36 beds to enable better access to the ski fields.

Disabled WinterSport Australia chairman Jim Blackburn said the facility was four years in the making.

“The first part of the program was about funding the building and we worked with the state department of recreation and YMCA,” he said.

“Once we achieved funding through the state government, we went into a two-year program of planning.

“It allows us to service unmet demand in our disability programs with accessible accommodation.

“It’s the first of its kind in Australia’s alpine regions and we see it as the blueprint for future developments.”

Victorian Acting Minister for Sport Martin Foley said the new building would fill a major gap.

“They gave me a tour of their current facility which is inadequate and bursting at the seams,” he said.

“This new facility will take them to a whole new level and be Australia's leading winter sport disabled visitor accommodation.”

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