Roll Out the Blue Matting on our Beaches
While our City’s popular beaches and foreshores are a key part of Wollongong’s identity, it’s not always easy for everyone to enjoy the feeling of sand between their toes.
This summer, we’re rolling out beach matting at Thirroul and Port Kembla beaches as part of our focus on improving ease of access to beaches for everyone.
The beach matting provides a stable non-slip surface to travel on the sand and will mean improved access to our beaches for people with disability, people with limited mobility and even parents with prams who previously were limited to promenades surrounding our beaches.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said he was pleased to see the matting making an appearance at Thirroul and Port Kembla.
“Our beaches are for everyone, and they are set to be as busy as ever this summer season,’’ he said.
“The addition of this matting means that more of our residents and visitors will get to enjoy the beauty that our beaches have to offer. Fresh sea air and sand between your toes is one of life’s simple joys and by having this matting out on our beaches means it’s easier for people to take advantage of what’s on our doorstep.’’
The addition of beach matting was identified within Council’s Beach and Foreshore Access Strategy and is part of our focus on making the City and all it has to offer more inclusive. Council has plans to extend the use of the semi-permanent matting – that’s pegged into place – to other beaches in future summers.
The beach matting was originally developed and deployed in both Afghanistan and Iraq by the US Military and coalition troops for beach landing operations. The same design features now provide an effective means of enhanced public access for all, across our beaches. It is made from 100% recycled polyester, and is resistant to UV, and can be rolled up and moved as required.
The 2019/2020 beach season officially launches on the 28 September.
“We’ve had some up-and-down weather recently with a couple of beautiful spring days last weekend,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to also remind our residents that where there are no flags, there should be no swimming. Or, as our Lifeguards and local volunteer Life savers say No Flags, No Swim.’’
In addition to the beach matting, Council also has beach wheelchairs that are available for booking. They’re available at Thirroul, North Wollongong and City Beach beaches and can be booked by calling our beach services team on 42277268.