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Northern Beaches Set to Make Lifejackets Compulsory for Rock Fishermen

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 29 Jun 2018
On Tuesday 26th June Council adopted legislation to make the wearing of life jackets by rock fishermen compulsory along declared high risk areas of the Northern Beaches coastline.

Following a successful 12-month trial of the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 by Randwick Council, the Minister for Emergency Services announced coastal councils could elect to opt-in to the legislation from April this year.

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said implementing the legislation would mean greater awareness of the dangers of this recreational pursuit.

“There is no doubt our environment can be unpredictable at times. While rock fishing is a very popular recreational interest, it comes with inherent dangers and we have a responsibility to educate people on the risks.

“It’s vital no matter what your age or experience level, that you wear a life jacket at all times along with appropriate footwear, check the weather conditions and never fish alone.

“We want all anglers to return home safely to their families,” Mayor Regan said.

Under the legislation, high risk areas are naturally occurring rock platforms or other rock formations exposed to the ocean swell. There are numerous locations from Palm Beach to Manly which are known hot spots for rock fishing incidents which this legislation will apply to.

Council will receive a grant of up to $30,000 from the Water Safety Fund. The money will be used for signage, education and awareness measures, training, and educational materials.

“Our rangers and lifeguards in cooperation with volunteer Surf Lifesaving Patrols will play an active role in informing and educating rock fishers about safer practises and legislation,” Mayor Regan said.  

Council hopes the legislation will become effective from December 2018 with Council Rangers enforcing the legislation in conjunction with relevant State agencies.

 
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