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Region’s beach mats key to accessibility tourism

Posted: 11am 24 Jun 2020

Moreton Bay Regional Council is paving the way to become the most accessible tourism destination in South East Queensland - starting with getting everyone onto our beautiful beaches.

This week, Moreton Bay Region Mayor Peter Flannery has announced the successful beach matting trial at Bribie Island is here to stay, and will be rolled out to the Redcliffe Peninsula later this year.

“The beach matting trial at Woorim Beach at Bribie Island was a universal success, with locals and visitors alike,” Mayor Flannery says.

“We saw people travel far and wide to use the beach matting, from wheelchair users to seniors with limited mobility and local families using prams.

“We’re working to get people onto our beautiful beaches and feel the sand between their toes, which is even more important after being cooped up during COVID-19. The beach matting will remain in place 24/7, giving people the confidence that if they go to the beach anytime, the matting will be there for them.

“This is a key point of difference for the region, with​ surf lifesavers at most other accessible beaches around Australia only roll​ing the matting in and out on weekends during the summer season.

An untapped market

Accessible tourism is a key focus for the council’s next budget to improve connectivity and attract this untapped market, worth $10 billion to the Australian visitor economy.

“Our region has enormous potential to attract visitation from Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, given our proximity, convenience and being a comparatively cheaper destination,” Mayor Flannery says.

“We already have much of the infrastructure needed, from wide boardwalks and pathways, accessible playgrounds, beach matting and the new Caboolture to Wamuran rail trail close to completion.

“The stats talk for themselves; almost 20 per cent of adults have a disability or long-term health condition and a quarter of the Australian population is predicted to be over 65 years by 2050. This is an untapped and growing market for our region.

“In a post-COVID world, we know that travellers won’t be able to get onto aeroplanes to their favourite overseas destinations. So, we’re expecting a boom in drive tourism to the region and what better way to spend your weekends than heading to our beaches or bushland.”

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