Beachgoers in the region will be better protected against shark attacks, with the NSW Government investing $8 million in world-leading shark management technologies up and down the NSW coast.
Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, welcomed the announcement and said a modern fleet of shark-spotting drones will soon patrol the NSW coastline, which residents and visitors to the region will all benefit from.
"Public safety is of the upmost importance for the NSW Government when it comes to shark mitigation," Ms Pavey said.
"That's why we are partnering with Surf Lifesaving NSW to deploy drones at 34 beaches up and down the coast, including at Sawtell, Urunga, Scott's Head, South West Rocks, Crescent Head and Lighthouse Beach.
"These measures will give not only beachgoers, but holiday makers and the community the confidence to move forward with their travel and holiday plans.
"This is good news for our region's coastal communities and I am thrilled that the NSW Government is taking local beachgoer safety, seriously."
Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, said the new approach to shark management was based on five years of scientific research into shark behaviour and trialling the most effective ways to protect beachgoers.
"As a government our number one priority is keeping people at our beaches safe and that's why we're rolling out a revamped strategy to reduce the risk of shark attacks," Mr Marshall said.
"Our world-leading research showed SMART Drumlines and drones are the most effective detection and surveillance tools, which is why the NSW Government will deploy new drones at 34 beaches across the State and maintain SMART drumlines in high-risk locations.
"These measures will be complemented by 21 shark detection stations along the coast as well as ongoing shark meshing on 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong.
"While no government can ever fully reduce the risk of shark interactions at our beaches this new program is backed by world-leading research and will provide the best in modern protection methods to our coastal communities."
The 2020/21 NSW Shark Program includes:
- Drone surveillance at 34 key swimming locations
- 35 SMART drumlines in high risk locations on the North Coast
- 21 VR4G listening stations along the NSW coastline
- The continuation of the Shark Meshing Bather Protection program, which has run since 1937, at 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong
- Community awareness and education programs
Full results of the NSW Government's Shark Management Strategy are available on the SharkSmart website - https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/
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