Access mat ensures everyone can enjoy a trip to the beach
Visiting Noosa’s Main Beach is a pastime people of all abilities can now enjoy, with the installation of a new beach access mat.
A new beach access mat has been installed at Main Beach
“Whether you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, have health issues that make walking on sand difficult, or even just have kids in strollers or prams, the new mat will ensure everyone gets to enjoy a visit to the beach,” Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said.
Funded by Tewantin-Noosa Lions Club, Noosa MP Sandy Bolton, and Council, the 50-metre Mobi-Mat will be in place at the access ramp in front of the surf club 365 days a year, except during storms and king tides.
The Mobi-Mat, which is made from 100% recycled material, provides a firm, safe, cool and stable surface for beachgoers.
“To finally see this becoming a reality after much negotiation is much appreciated for those who are otherwise unable to experience what many of us take for granted,” Ms Bolton said.
Tewantin-Noosa Lions Club spokesman Michael Roach said the club was pleased to help fund the access mat, which will benefit so many people.
Acting Club President, Ian Glew, added: “Under our Lions Mobility Programme we are most supportive of this new community project / facility.
“Our research in the area reveals that over 320 children are ‘wheelers’. One wheeler’s mother said that it is not only about getting to the water, but her child being able to experience playing in the sand,” Mr Glew said.
Cr Amelia Lorentson, who brought the mat proposal to Mayor Stewart for Council support, said it would greatly help kids taking part in the Seahorse Nippers program.
“The Mobi-Mat will greatly improve access for the kids who take part in this important program, as well as many thousands of other locals and visitors who might otherwise miss out on a day at the beach,” Cr Lorentson said.
“I am so overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit in this community. Noosa is an inclusive community, and no-one needed convincing that beaches should be accessible to everyone.”
Sandy Bolton provided $11,000 for the project, Tewantin Noosa Lions Club donated $5,000 with Council contributing the rest of the $21,500 cost.
“SLSQ and the Noosa lifeguards have also been very supportive and have helped bring the project to fruition,” Cr Stewart said.
Noosa Main Beach will now be added to a national database of beaches that accommodate all abilities - accessiblebeaches.com.