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I am a qualified support worker in the Gladstone area, I have noticed over a few years that there is no access to our beaches for people with a disability and for our elderly. Our beaches are here for everyone in the community to enjoy but yet these people can not get down onto the sand to be able to enjoy the pleasures that the rest of our community can enjoy. I held an event day this year for people to come down to tannum sands beach and get down to the water for either the very first time or for the first time in many many years.
I thought with two council members at the event and seeing how many people in the community loved being able to get onto the beach and even into our waters that we would of had a result by now, unfortunately the life saving club and the pen pushes in the council only want wheelchairs. To me the wheelchairs will work in conjunction with the mats and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. The mats lay on top of the soft sands and make it so much easier to get to the harder sand and the high tide line. With people using wheelchairs, walking frames, prams,4 wheel walkers they can access the beach on the mats, without the mats they can not make it down to the water.
Having enjoyed the beach for all of my life I believe it is time to give the whole community the opportunity to enjoy our coastlines. With the proposal of the surf life saving club and the council to have the wheelchairs only it is going to cause issues for people, there will be people that will end up with back problems. Have you tried pushing a pram on the soft sand and struggled? well imagine trying to push someone in a wheelchair that is approximately 100kg, the struggle is astromonical.
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