June 17, 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $2 million to local communities to make their beaches more accessible for Australians with disability.

Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin, was joined by Labor candidate for Dobell, Emma McBride and Labor Candidate for Shortland, Pat Conroy for the announcement at Lakes Beach in Budgewoi.

Jenny Macklin said going to the beach is a national pastime, and something that is enjoyed by millions of Australians.

“For people with disability, a day at the beach can be difficult, and often impossible.

At many beaches, it is too difficult for people with disability to get on the sand or in the water.

That’s why a Labor Government will provide $2 million to local communities so they can make their beaches more accessible,” Ms Macklin said.

Labor candidate for Dobell, Emma McBride said the funding will allow community organisations to improve accessibility through ramps and matting, beach wheelchairs, hoists and slings.

“We will also make sure local people with disability are involved in the design and delivery of local initiatives – so communities can be sure that people with disability are benefitting from the new investment,” Ms McBride said.

Labor candidate for Shortland, Pat Conroy, said Labor’s plan for more accessible beaches reflects the first priority of the National Disability Strategy – building inclusive and accessible communities.

“The Lake Macquarie area was one of the first NDIS launch sites – our local area is a national leader when it comes to an inclusive approach to people with disability,” Mr Conroy said.

From 1 July 2017, local councils, surf lifesaving clubs and community organisations will be able to apply for a one-off grant of up to $50,000 to make their beaches more accessible.

The funding can be used to purchase, install and upgrade accessibility infrastructure and equipment.

Labor wants all Australians to be able to enjoy our beautiful beaches, including Australians with disability. 

Labor is putting people first.

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