Angela Barry on the new pathway at Blacksmiths Beach
The accessway allows people with wheelchairs and buggies to see the beach.
The recently completed work near the lifeguard tower includes an all-access ramp, pathway, and viewing platform at the high point of the foredunes, overlooking the water.
It is made of fibreglass reinforced plastic mesh designed to withstand the harsh beach environment.
A separate buggy access path to the beach offers access for the wheelchair buggies that are available to hire free of charge during the beach season.
Community Planner Ageing and Disability Jennifer Linton-Webb said the work provided beach access to wheelchair and mobility aid users, people with prams, and those who have difficulty walking on soft sand.
One of the key focus areas of our Disability Inclusion Action Plan is creating liveable communities for everyone,” Ms Linton-Webb said.
Improving access to beaches and waterways not only helps us achieve that goal – it means people with disability have the chance to enjoy simple pleasures that many people living close to the coast take for granted.”
Lake Mac wheelchair user Angela Barry said it had been years since she had ventured onto the beach.
It’s great to see Lake Macquarie council investing in making our beaches more accessible to people with mobility limitations,” she said.
Without ramps such as this, our beautiful city beaches are just off-limits to wheelchair users.”
The $382,000 project’s completion follows provision last year at Belmont Baths of an amphibious wheelchair, available free for anyone with a master locksmiths access key (MLAK), and the opening of new accessible facilities at Toronto Swim Centre.