Wheelchair friendly beaches return to the Peninsula in time for summer

Published on 12 December 2018

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Mornington Peninsula Shire’s popular beach matting program has returned to Mount Martha beach with the valuable service now available seven days a week, a significant increase from last year when the program was only available on weekends.

In 2016, Mount Martha became the first wheelchair accessible beach on the Mornington Peninsula, offering people in wheelchairs, or with limited mobility, the chance to get to the water’s edge during summer.

The matting was rolled out on Friday 9 November and will remain until Easter weekend (Sunday 21 April) 2019 with beach accessible chairs available on weekends.

Shire Mayor Councillor David Gill said “I’m thrilled to have this initiative back in time for the 18/19 summer season.

“Council extends its thanks to the Mount Martha Life Saving Club for its ongoing support to enable the Shire to provide 50 metres of beach matting and two extra beach wheelchairs at Mount Martha Beach”.

Briars Ward Councillor Sam Hearn said “beach matting in Mount Martha is another step towards the Shire’s goal of making more beaches on the Peninsula accessible to everyone”.

Fellow Briars Ward Councillor Bev Colomb said “the extension from two to seven days is a great asset for our local schools, clubs, and individuals wanting greater access to the beach at a time that suits them.”

Fellow Briars Ward Councillor Rosie Clark said “we are determined to make Peninsula beaches disability friendly – the continuation of this wonderful project is another push in the right direction”.

The Shire also supports disability access at local beaches through upgrades to accessible parking, pathways and toilets in coastal areas and access audits for beaches.

The Shire recently began implementation of the Mills Beach Masterplan project to improve disability access through paving the carpark, increasing the number of disabled parking sports and providing ramps to the sand. The Shire also provided financial contribution to a wheelchair accessible boardwalk at Point Leo, which opened earlier this year.

For more information about accessibility on the Peninsula including accessible beaches and recreation, visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/access

PICTURE DETAILS: All Abilities Consultative Committee member and Citizen of the Year Karen Fankhauser and Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Metro Access Officer Virginia Richardson enjoying the beach wheelchair and matting at Mount Martha.