A new bathroom with extra space, a height-adjustable adult-sized changing table and a hoist will allow more people to enjoy day-to-day activities with dignity, the Eurobodalla Shire Council says.
A "Changing Places" toilet adjacent to the Variety Inclusive Playground at Corrigans Beach Reserve park, Batehaven, is now open.
The council said the facility would allow people with high needs to enjoy activities many take for granted.
Infrastructure director Warren Sharpe said the toilet was designed for people unable to use standard accessible toilets.
"The Changing Places toilet includes a height-adjustable adult-sized changing table, a hoist system, and sufficient space in a clean environment," he said.
"This type of toilet is provided in addition to and separate from standard accessible toilets.
"More than one million Australians are thought to have movement limitations severe enough to require a toilet with the equipment provided by a Changing Places facility.
"Thanks to grants from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund and the Australian Government's Community Development Grants Programme, families with a member who has a serious disability can now enjoy the day out at Corrigans, just like any other family."
From May, 1, the National Construction Code required accessible adult change facilities - modelled on the Changing Places design - for specified public buildings; large shopping centres, major sports stadiums, aquatic centres, museums, art galleries and airports.
The council said Australia was the first country to mandate these facilities.
Mr Sharpe said carers would also benefit from the facility, with a Deakin University study finding them highly likely to be carrying an injury caused by caring activities and more likely to be living with chronic pain due to repetitive and unassisted lifting.
"The Changing Places toilet removes the need for carers to lift the person with a disability," he said.
The council said Changing Places began in the United Kingdom in 2006 and the concept was introduced to Australia in 2012, with the first toilet opening in 2014.
With 85 toilets across the country, the council said Changing Places was breaking down one of the fundamental barriers to inclusion for people with very high support needs.
Mr Sharpe said a Master Locksmiths' Access Key was needed to access Changing Places toilets.
"The keys require written authority from a doctor, disability organisation or community health centre," he said.
"This protects the facility from misuse or vandalism but allows around-the-clock access for eligible people."