Beach For All access mat extended

01 April 2016

Back in September, I was tagged in a social media post showing a disability access pathway across the soft sand on a Balinese beach. Taken by the concept, I decided this should be more than a feel-good post on Facebook; it should be something we have here in South Australia.

Back in September, I was tagged in a social media post showing a disability access pathway across the soft sand on a Balinese beach. Taken by the concept, I decided this should be more than a feel-good post on Facebook; it should be something we have here in South Australia.

On Australia Day 2016, this idea became a reality when Seacliff became South Australia’s first accessible beach following a 12-week campaign to ‘crowdfund’ the money needed to develop and manufacture a unique beach mat.

During the trial of the pathway, which ran from Australia Day to Easter Monday, the moveable mat was rolled across the soft stand to the water’s edge by Seacliff lifesavers on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This trial has been hailed a huge success by all involved, with councils, surf clubs and charities across Australia expressing an interest in following Seacliff’s lead.

The trial did show, however, that the pathway would be better if it was longer, so I approached our local Bendigo Bank branch and, without hesitation, they provided $2,000 in sponsorship to make the extension go ahead. This means we can now alter the length of the pathway depending on tidal movements and the ever-changing shape of the beach.

Thank you to Bendigo Bank for generously supporting this extension and to all the other individuals, community groups and businesses who made the Beach for All project a reality.

The Beach for All mat will be rolled out by Seacliff surf life savers between 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm on patrol days (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from October to Easter).

I look forward to seeing you down there come October!