Wollongong council has rolled out beach matting at Thirroul and Port Kembla beaches as part of its focus on improving ease of access to beaches for everyone.
The beach matting provides a stable non-slip surface to travel on the sand and will mean improved access to the beaches for people with disability, people with limited mobility and parents with prams who previously were limited to promenades surrounding the beaches.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery said he was pleased to see the matting making an appearance at Thirroul and Port Kembla. “Our beaches are for everyone, and they are set to be as busy as ever this summer season,’’ he said.
“The addition of this matting means that more of our residents and visitors will get to enjoy the beauty that our beaches have to offer. Fresh sea air and sand between your toes is one of life’s simple joys and by having this matting out on our beaches means it’s easier for people to take advantage of what’s on our doorstep.’’
The addition of beach matting was identified within the council’s Beach and Foreshore Access Strategy and is part of its focus on making the city and all it has to offer more inclusive. The council has plans to extend the use of the semi-permanent matting – that’s pegged into place – to other beaches in future summers.
The beach matting was originally developed and deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq by the US Military and Coalition troops for beach landing operations. The same design features now provide an effective means of enhanced public access for all across the beaches.
It is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, is resistant to UV, and can be rolled up and moved as required.
In addition to the beach matting, Council also has beach wheelchairs available for booking at Thirroul, North Wollongong and City Beach beaches.
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