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Beach matting for the disabled at Thirroul this summer

Beach-MattingBEACH matting will make access to the surf for the disabled and elderly easier at Thirroul this summer.

The beach matting provides a stable non-slip surface to travel on the sand and will mean improved access to our beaches for people with disability, people with limited mobility and even parents with prams who previously were limited to promenades surrounding beaches.

The 2019/2020 beach season officially launches on September 28.

Wollongong City 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 both 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 beaches. It is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, and is resistant to UV, and can be rolled up and moved as required.

Wollongong Lord Mayor 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,” he said.

“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 Wollongong City Council’s Beach and Foreshore Access Strategy and is part of our focus on making the City and all it has to offer more inclusive.

“We’ve had some up-and-down weather recently with a couple of beautiful spring days last weekend,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to also remind our residents that where there are no flags, there should be no swimming. Or, as our Lifeguards and local volunteer Life savers say No Flags, No Swim.’’

In addition to the beach matting, Council also has beach wheelchairs that are available for booking. They’re available at Thirroul, North Wollongong and City Beach beaches and can be booked by calling Council’s beach services team on 42277268.

 

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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