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Sharks Observation Grants Program Projects Announced

Nine projects have been successful to receive priority funding from the NSW Government to improve shark detection and beachgoer safety from NSW beaches this summer, Dr Geoff Allan, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director General, Fisheries said today.

The funding is part of $200,000 on offer to community groups to improve shark surveillance and safety for beachgoers as part of the Shark Observation Grants Program.

“For a number of years, the NSW Government has allocated grants up to a project total of $30,000 for local surf clubs and councils to improve shark surveillance at a number of the State’s beaches,” Dr Allan said.

“The popular Shark Observation Grants Program is in conjunction with the $16 million shark management strategy and the Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) program.”

This year’s successful applicants are:

  • Wollongong City Council: Purchase Surveyor “Junior” Observation Tower for Scarborough Beach - $22,000;

  • Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW: Purchase 50 new hand held SLS capable UHF radios - $41,250;

  • Salt Beach SLSC Incorporated: solar PA and loudhailer system for their current observation tower - $2,824;

  • Kiama Municipal Council: Purchase Surveyor “Junior” Observation Tower for Seven Mile Beach - $38,500

  • Eurobodalla Shire Council: Construction of 5 lifeguards towers to give tower coverage to the remainder of the beaches in the LGA - $22,000 The location for the new towers will be Malua Bay, Moruya, North Head, Moruya Surf Beach, Tuross Head, and Dalmeny beaches adding to the already existing stock of three towers at Narooma, Surf Beach and Broulee.

  • Coffs Harbour City Council: Purchase 11 x portable megaphones and 11 x Bushnell binoculars - $9,326

  • Lake Macquarie City Council: Purchase drone and train staff to conduct a 14 week drone trial for shark observation and beach safety - $33,290

  • Surf Lifesaving New South Wales: Purchase and disseminate standardized shark signage across all NSW patrolled beaches -$19,986

  • Shellharbour City Council: Purchase solar panels for current observation tower - $7,000

“Improved surveillance on beaches or beach headlands provide a clearer line of vision for surf lifesavers and lifeguards to spot sharks, and are also useful for spotting people in distress and monitoring beach conditions,” Dr Allan said.

“A number of different projects can be funded, including observation towers, new observation equipment, emergency evacuation alarms and communication systems on beaches and headlands for effective shark detection, community awareness and enhanced bather safety.

“Applications may also be made for mobile structures or to compliment fixed observation tower projects and for observation equipment and warning systems to enhance bather safety.”

For more information visit Sharks Observation Grants Program

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