The new Sunnyside Road Footpath in Mount Eliza
Yesterday the Sunnyside Road Footpath and upgraded Sunnyside beach toilet facility in Mount Eliza was officially opened by YMCA Camp Manyung, in partnership with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, TAC and Sport and Recreation Victoria.
“It’s about so much more than a footpath. It’s about trying to make the community a safer and better place, this is what it’s all about,” YMCA General Manager Maree Feutrill said.
A result of years of tireless efforts from locals, community groups and support from partnerships, the $370,000 raised to fund the footpath and toilets will create a safer, more inclusive beach and camping experience for locals and visitors alike.
The new Sunnyside Road Footpath runs directly from YMCA Camp Manyung to the beach carpark. Previously school children, community groups (including those with limited mobility or with disabilities) staying at YMCA Camp Manyung could only access the beach by using the busy and dangerous Sunnyside Road, which was a deep concern for the YMCA and many local groups such as the Muscular Dystrophy Group.
With the support of the YMCA, local groups and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council the new vision for a footpath became a reality and also led to the upgrading of the Sunnyside beach toilet for greater safety and accessibility with the instalment of a new accessible toilet.
YMCA Camp Manyung Manager Jim Boyle said the new infrastructure was a great result.
“This is a huge positive for safety, accessibility and inclusion for the community. Now, our most vulnerable groups, including kids, newly arrived refugees and people with disabilities can use the new footpath to get down to the beach without fear.
“Combined with the redeveloped toilet facilities this will provide greater beach access and a better experience for all people regardless of age or ability,” he said.
From left to right: Karen Fankhauser Chair of Disability Advisory Committee for Mornington Shire, David Strickland, Sports and Recreation Executive Officer, Rosie Clarke, Mornington Peninsula Shire Deputy Mayor, Jim Boyle, YMCA Camp Manyung Manager, John Bowers, President of Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula, Maree Feutrill, YMCA General Manager
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor David Gill said this much-needed project, under the Shire’s Footpath Construction Strategy, was a collaborative outcome thanks to Council, YMCA Camp Manyung and the state government.
“Residents and Camp Manyung members will now have a safe, all-weather path linking to the Sunnyside Beach foreshore. This is part of our commitment to providing safe access paths to key locations on the Peninsula”.
Sports and Recreation Victoria Executive Officer David Strickland said the project was a shared commitment to universal design philosophy and equal outdoor opportunity.
"A key commitment of the Victorian Government is to create inclusive communities and work with partners like the YMCA to deliver camps facilities integral to connecting Victorians to the great outdoors," he said.
Later this year the YMCA camp and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council will roll out 30 metres of mobi matting on Sunnyside Beach. With mobi matting along the beach, wheelchair users will be able to access the water’s edge, giving them more access to beach programs and camp activities.