Beach becomes accessible

Article image - Beach becomes accessible Cr Ross Gee and Bec Nicol, of All Abilities Mackay.

Mackay Regional Council, Queensland, has made exploring the 31 pristine local beaches a simple pleasure available to everyone with the donation of a Sandcruiser Beach Wheelchair to All Abilities Mackay.

Sports and Recreation Advisory Committee chair Councillor Ross Gee said the wheelchair would be available to locals through All Abilities Mackay’s library of therapy aids, equipment and toys.
“This library was born because locals expressed frustration at wanting to trial or loan therapy equipment and aids.

“Before the library, people would have to purchase therapy equipment items and, if they weren’t suitable or if children outgrew them, they were stuck with them with limited on-sale options.

“At more than $4000, a beach wheelchair is something that would fit into very few people’s budgets, but by having this item for loan, trips to the beach become a lot more realistic.”

Cr Gee said the donation of the wheelchair fitted perfectly with council’s Accessible Communities Action Plan, formulated with considerable public consultation last year.

He said if the wheelchair proved to be popular there was scope to donate further wheelchairs to meet the need.

“We are passionate about accessibility and the beach wheelchairs are an excellent way for us to open up large parts of our region to residents who would normally find the terrain inaccessible.

“They aren’t just useful for those living with a disability – they are a valuable therapy and recovery item and we hope they can be used by those in recovery to enjoy the sand, sun and salt air.”

The Sandcruiser is designed for use on the beach but can also be used on bush trails. It features all marine-grade components and all-terrain and shock absorbing wheels.