Greens demand Labor commit to making all NSW beaches fully accessible

Less than 20 beaches in NSW currently offer accessible features. Today in Parliament, Abigail gave notice of a motion urging Labor to allocate funding to make all NSW beaches accessible to people of all abilities, neurodiversity, and ages.

Abigail said:

I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move: 

(1) That this House affirms that all people of all abilities, neurodiversity and age deserve to enjoy the beaches that NSW has to offer, from the minute a person arrives at the beach, to the minute they get down into the water.

(2) That this House notes that: 

  • right now, the vast majority of beaches across NSW are significantly inaccessible for many people, with less than 20 out of more than 890 beaches having accessible features;
  • according to analysis by Accessible Beaches Australia, less than 2% of the almost 12,000 beaches across Australia are accessible to people with disabilities and mobility challenges; 
  • key elements of an accessible beach include accessible parking, wide clear pathways, ramps with handrails that are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, beach matting, alternatives to matting, beach wheelchairs available for free hire, accessible bathrooms and change rooms, accessible showers and shade areas, accessible drinking water facilities, adequate and compliant signage, and sand and erosion management; 
  • currently, the responsibility for funding beach accessibility lies solely on individual local councils and surf life saving clubs, with support from state and federal governments limited to small amounts of ad hoc general grants programs; 
  • people across the community have advocated for the NSW Government to provide dedicated funding for beach accessibility to make all beaches fully accessible, including para surfing world champion Joel Taylor, community members and local councils;
  • several countries have significantly invested in making their beaches accessible, including Greece which has nearly 200 accessible beaches and a national plan to achieve full beach accessibility at all 287 of their beaches; and 
  • investing in accessible beaches would significantly benefit not only those with mobility needs living in NSW, but would also serve to benefit tourists who visit NSW and wish to enjoy our beaches, as well as local businesses surrounding our coastal areas. 

(3) That this House calls on the NSW Government to:

  • commit to provide dedicated funding for beach accessibility, to ensure that people of all abilities, neurodiversity and age can access NSW’s beaches; and 
  • develop a staged plan in consultation with people with lived experience of mobility needs, disability advocates and peak organisations to make all NSW beaches fully accessible.

Join 50,429 other supporters in taking action