People first at Bangalee
SAFETY will be improved at the Bangalee Beach access after Clair Fitzpatrick rallied Council following the tragic loss of her partner killed in a freak accident on the beach at Bangalee in June 2017.
Ms Fitzpatrick called for Livingstone Council to upgrade the access ramp, offer recovery education to 4WD drivers to avoid another fatality and provide a safe walking path for pedestrian beach users.
Her call for change will soon be answered as Council agrees to install a pedestrian only walkway, offer public education and investigate the best way forward for the Bangalee Beach ramp access to be improved.
Ms Fitzpatrick said she is pleased Livingstone Council has listened to her call for more safety for beach users.
“Bangalee Beach access has been another accident waiting to happen for a long time, so I am very happy our local Council has listened to the concerns,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.
“This move means better safety for everyone and will encourage people to enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
“Both cars and pedestrians have been using the current beach access ramp to get on and off the beach for years. Currently, due to the nature of the beach access and a steep blind gradient at Bangalee, drivers need to maintain full acceleration to prevent their vehicle getting bogged in the soft sand which leads to other safety issues at the site.
“The access is essentially a blind rise which increases the possibility of vehicles colliding and creates a huge safety risk for pedestrians that currently use the ramp for access.
“There has been no dedicated walking track to the beach other than a track made by locals to the right that has no signage and would not be evident if you don’t know it is there.
“As a high number of people access this beach it is paramount that the ramp is upgraded to something that is durable to the weather and tidal condition and longstanding to ensure the safety of everyone who wish to access the beach.
“This bid to improve safety has brought a lot of people together and I am most grateful to everyone including all our Councillors who have made it a priority.”
Ms Fitzpatrick said she is also pleased Council will be running a public safety community day in the New Year to educate people and hopefully, minimise the event of another tragic loss of life.
Livingstone Shire Council Deputy Mayor Nigel Hutton said Council plan to formalise the existing pedestrian access with timber boards and signage sending pedestrian to this access; therefore, reducing the conflict between people and vehicles accessing the beach.
“Subject to any emergent work elsewhere, the work on the pedestrian walkway will be completed before the Christmas school holidays,” Cr Hutton said.
“Public safety is a priority to Council, all beach users have a right to have safe access to our beautiful beaches hence, this was seen as a priority project.
“Council are also looking to engage with the community and growing number of Bangalee Beach ramp users in the new year to better educate users of the ramp with renewed/improved signage and a community session on site to provide advice and support.
“Future works are being developed beyond this financial year to determine the best formation of the ramp into the future and will be a capital budget consideration.”