One in five Aussies miss out on beach fun due to accessibility issues

March 14, 2024 BY

Less than 2% of the country's beaches are wheelchair-friendly. Photo: GARY STEARMAN

NEW data has revealed that nearly all of Australia’s beaches are out of reach for people with disabilities.

According to Accessible Beaches Australia research less than 2% of the country’s beaches are wheelchair-friendly.

Founder & Board Chair of Accessible Beaches Australia, Shane Hryhorec, said everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy the beach.

“It’s a fundamental part of this country, this culture, this summer lifestyle.”

“Unfortunately, we exclude so many people as beaches in Australia are not accessible to people with disabilities, due to a lack of facilities such as ramps, matting, and accessible toilets.”

Accessible Beaches Australia is advocating for government funding to improve beach access with features like beach wheelchairs and matting.

“This is not an unsolvable problem – other nations are making headway in creating inclusive beaches,” Mr Hryhorec said.

He highlighted Greece’s progress in beach accessibility as an example for Australia.

“The Greek government has committed to installing beach ramps and other accessibility tools.

“The Australian government needs to step in and match other nations.

Accessible Beaches Australia wants more support for councils and Surf Life Saving Clubs to expand access.

“The demand for beach accessibility programs is there, however, surf lifesaving clubs need the extra funding to invest in the necessary equipment.”

Mr Hryhorec encouraged people to support their cause by signing the organisation’s petition at: accessiblebeaches.com/join-our-campaign

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