Push Mobility's beach mat that will be trialled at Alexandra Headland.
Push Mobility's beach mat that will be trialled at Alexandra Headland.

How a beach mat will change lives for just one day

EXTRA disabled parking will be created at one of the Sunshine Coast's most popular beaches for a one-day trial of a beach mat that could change lives.

Alexandra Headland will be the destination for the trial of wheelchair accessible matting on Saturday, November 5 from 10am.

And with clear skies and hot weather predicted, hundreds are expected to attend the event.

If successful, the beach mat which make it easier for people in wheelchairs, the elderly and strollers to get to the water, could be rolled out across the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast Councillor Jason O'Pray heard about the beach mat through not-for-profit organisation 121 Care, which posted pictures of a trial of the matting at Burleigh Heads.

121 Care General Manager Kym Chomley said a Facebook post on the trial had "reached 21000 people in four days".

"There has been unprecedented interest," he said.

And when Cr O'Pray posted up on social media an image of the trial, it received more shares than his video of sharks in the Twin Waters canal.

"The interest was just amazing," Cr O'Pray said.

The matting, organised through Mobi-Mat Australia, will make it easy for those on wheels to get to the water's edge.

And the best part is it only requires "two minute installation".

Cr O'Pray said previous disabled matting at Mooloolaba hadn't worked as it had become rigid.

"It was exposed to the elements, was hard and got washed away in a big weather event," he said.

"It was a hindrance and we didn't get a lot of disabled people using it."

But this mat had the simplicity that made it look so much more attractive.

The responsibility of putting the matting up would fall on the shoulders of the surf lifesaving club.

Cr O'Pray chipped in $2500 from his discretionary funding to "get the ball rolling" and 121 Care has also contributed $1500.

Hosting the trial was the "first step" in testing for other regions.

"It will come down to management and how easy it is to get in and out," he said.

"It is not just for disabled, but also for the elderly as it provides stability all the way to the waters edge."

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