New mats improve beach access

Mats make beach access easier for people using a wheelchair and for parents with prams.

NEW heavy-duty mats have been installed at Yanchep and Quinns Mindarie beaches to help people with a disability or impaired mobility access the sand and surf.

The changing conditions at the beaches can result in sand being deposited on the mats but Yanchep News Online understands the City of Wanneroo’s maintenance team sweeps them regularly.

Paula Simmons from the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association raised the idea of beach mats to help people in wheelchairs and mothers pushing prams have better access to Yanchep Lagoon.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said, along with the city’s two beach wheelchairs, the mats would help people of all abilities enjoy the beach this summer.

“More than four million Australians live with a disability and we are committed to ensuring that our beaches, facilities and open spaces are accessible so they can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors,” she said.

The Yanchep and Quinns beach wheelchairs are available during the surf patrol seasons and are free to hire.

Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president Billy Prinsloo said together with the Yanchep Sandcruiser beach wheelchair, the mats would help more people enjoy their community.

“The mats make beach access easier for those using a mobility aid or wheelchair and for families with prams, giving more people an opportunity to visit Yanchep beach,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our community this summer.

“Our dedicated volunteers are ready for another busy season helping keep everyone safe in and around the water.

“The observation tower has been reinstalled for the summer to help our volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards keep watch over those in the water.

“We still strongly encourage people to swim between the red and yellow patrol flags – if our lifesavers can’t see you, we can’t save you.”

Quinns Mindarie Surf Life Saving club president Saxon France said the safety of all beachgoers this summer was the club’s highest priority.

“The efforts of our dedicated volunteer surf lifesavers will be once again bolstered by the installation of the Quinns beach swim barrier,” he said.

“It provides a safer swimming option for people of all ages and abilities and ensures everyone is able to enjoy Quinns beach.”

The Morrison Government contributed $80,000 towards the mats through the local roads and community infrastructure program.

As Perth heats up, both surf life saving clubs are prepared for an influx of beachgoers, with patrol towers in place and beach patrols underway for another season.

McGowan Government funded beach emergency number (BEN) signs have been rolled out at several city beaches, with the 1000th sign going in the ground at Claytons Beach last September.

Each BEN sign has a unique code to help emergency services quickly identify beach locations in the event of a shark sighting, attack or other emergency.