A $380,000 accessibility upgrade at Blacksmiths Beach means people of all abilities now have the chance to enjoy Lake Mac’s spectacular coastline.
The recently completed works include an all-access ramp, pathway and viewing platform at the high point of the foredunes, overlooking the water.
The striking constructions are made with fibreglass reinforced plastic mesh, designed to withstand the harsh beach environment.
A separate buggy access path to the beach has also been installed, providing access for the wheelchair buggies available to hire free of charge during the beach season.
Community Planner Ageing and Disability Jennifer Linton-Webb said the works provided beach access to wheelchair and mobility aid users, people with prams and other people who had 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 welcomed the new infrastructure. Taking in the vista from the new viewing platform, Ms 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.