BRILLIANT IDEA: Pictured are the disability access mats Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga is hoping to bring to the Capricorn Coast which will allow more people to enjoy our beaches.
BRILLIANT IDEA: Pictured are the disability access mats Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga is hoping to bring to the Capricorn Coast which will allow more people to enjoy our beaches. Contributed RCC

Mats should roll out to allow wheelchair access to the beach

WE HAVE some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but for some people it's near impossible to be able to enjoy the water because they can't physically get down to it.

That's what Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga is looking into changing for residents after Yeppoon man Scott Maclean brought the idea to her attention last week.

Mrs Lauga will ask Livingstone Shire Council for permission to trial the use of special mats which will allow wheelchair and disability vehicles access onto our beaches.

"The portable beach access mats have been specifically developed for use in permanent or temporary recreation access applications and are widely used in the United States of America," Mrs Lauga said.

"It's perfect for our wonderful beach and forest environment in Keppel, because you can roll it out to the access route for use by a wide range of people of all abilities (pedestrians and wheelchairs access), as well as strollers, then roll it up to remove it once it is used.

Excelcare support worker Scott Maclean told the Capricorn Coast Mirror he posted the idea to Mrs Lauga's Facebook page as a possibility for our region.

"As soon as I saw it, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to make access to the beach possible for people that can't get to it normally," he said.

Mr Maclean said he was very impressed with Mrs Lauga's response to his suggestion.

Mrs Lauga said she had since met with Ray Thompson, the Coast's local equitable access committee president, and he thought it was a great idea.

"But before I arrange a trial, I need council's approval as they have the responsibility of managing the beaches," she said.

"I'm going to pursue the trial option when I meet with Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig so we as a community can test it out first."


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