$43,000 for new shark-spotting tower at Ballina beach
BEACHGOERS in Ballina concerned about ocean safety will appreciate the news that a purpose-built shark detection tower will be built at Sharpes Beach.
Thanks to council receiving successful funding under the Observation Tower Grants Program, the Sharpes Beach tower will join a list of coastal areas receiving priority funding from the NSW Government.
According to the Department of Primary Industries, the evaluation criteria to receive funding included assessment regarding the number of people at the beach annually and the number of sharks sighted in the past two years and frequency of sightings near swimmers.
North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin, said Ballina Shire Council had been awarded $43,761.50 to assist in the design and construction of an observation tower at Sharpes Beach.
He said the Observation Tower Grants Program increased from $30,000 to $200,000 this year as as part of the Shark Management Bather Protection Program.
"Observation towers on beaches or beach headlands provide improved shark surveillance and improve safety for beachgoers,” he said.
"The towers 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.”
Mr Franklin said Ballina Council, under the leadership of Mayor David Wright, already did "amazing work for the community and I hope this funding further enhances the protection they can offer visitors to our beautiful beaches”.
Ballina is one of seven programs along the NSW coast successful in obtaining funding for projects including observation towers and emergency evacuation alarms.