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Land of Many Waters for some .. but not all

International Day of People with Disability is a good time to remind the community of the many Transport for NSW’s boating infrastructure projects that are in place that focus on improving access to our waterways for all users. Pontoons are one way of making it easier for vessels, such as kayaks, to get on and off the water safely yet Eurobodalla, the Land of Many Waters, still doesn't provide such a facility. The continued stiff opposition by Council to seeking or receiving grants that might add more assets to their infrastructure, and burden the ratepayer with maintenance and renewal, has seen boating facilities taken up by other shires. On Monday December 3rd, International Day for People with a Disability, Edward River in Mathoura NSW celebrated their All Ability Accessible Canoe Platform Launch. Amanda Lavender the Western Region Ranger for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service said “I found it truly moving to know that people who otherwise would not be able to participate in something like this were able to, and possibly for the first time.” “It is great to know that Moama is really leading the way in using recycled plastic products in infrastructure and people appear to like the product. I love that it is so versatile, has a long longevity and is a recycled product that would otherwise have gone to landfill.” The recycled plastic All Ability Access Platform is now available for all visitors and tourists to enjoy.

Meanwhile in the Eurobodalla the Council appears to have very little vision for the disabled kayakers with their continued focus on abled bodied activities such as the $3.2m mountain bike track they are soon to endorse for Mogo. While kayaking is not covered by grants derived from fishing and boat licences there are continuing opportunities for grants for sporting and disability purposes. The fishing platform installed at Russ Martin Park in 2017, paid for by NSW Fishing Licence fees, was in fact relocated from its original site to be more of a facility for sightseers, with anglers who organised the funding saying "the fishing component of the platform is Zilch as it is in the wrong location". Council did however claim that “The platform is wheelchair-accessible and handrails will cater for anglers with limited mobility,” which most likely ticked a box in some bureaucratic form beside the box that reads "Public Consultation".

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