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Disability advocate and local residents call for more concrete paths in Mount Magnet

Jamie ThannooMidwest Times
The end of a concrete path on Hepburn Street.
Camera IconThe end of a concrete path on Hepburn Street. Credit: Don Browne

Several residents in Mount Magnet, as well as a disability advocate, have raised concern over a lack of concrete paths in some parts of Mount Magnet.

Parts of the town, including parts of Hepburn Street aka Great Northern Highway, have gravel paths rather than concrete, which critics say makes it difficult for those with disabilities to get around.

Justin Lunn, a disability advocate who relies on a wheelchair, expressed his frustration with the lack of paths which limit his mobility when visiting a friend in the town.

“It is difficult, but its also got a danger factor, quite often you can get stuck on a little thing, slip and fall on the floor,” he said.

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“If you fall down on the road it wouldn’t be pretty, you could be waving down a truck.”

Mr Lunn said gravel paths are especially difficult for people with disabilities when it rains.

He said he was surprised this was an issue after many years visiting the town, as he said other regional towns have made important steps in becoming more accessible.

“It is surprising, because it should be a universal standard,” he said.

Don Browne, a friend of Mr Lunn and a local resident, said it was frustrating his friend still struggled when visiting him.

“I think it is a disgrace, we’ve known it is a problem for decades,” he said.

“It’s an issue of equal opportunity.”

Mr Browne also said the amount of dust from the gravel caused buildings to be covered in dirt, and could make it difficult to breath.

Another disabled resident, who did not wish to be identified, said they had been calling on the town to provide an adequate amount of footpaths since the late 2000s.

“It’s a basic thing anywhere you go in Australia really, if you go to Geraldton or Perth you’ve got footpaths everywhere,” he said.

“It’s a pain without footpaths, and I am just sick and tired of it.”

The Shire of Mount Magnet responded by stating there were multiple paths along Hepburn Street.

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