DAVID NIELSEN

Council looks for ways to stop swimming at Dalwood Falls

BARBED wire fencing, security cameras and additional surveillance patrols at Dalwood Falls are some of the recommendations in a bid to prevent people swimming at the popular water hole.

Ballina Shire councillors will vote on a risk management strategy for Dalwood, Tosha and Killen Falls at this Thursday's Ordinary meeting.

In January, a 31-year-old Queensland man died when he jumped from a tree above the swimming hole.

It was the second fatality at the site after another man had died over 20 years ago.

Emergency Services and Police told the council there had been several potentially serious spinal injuries over the years.

Ballina Council general manager Paul Hickey said work was already under way to decide on a future for Dalwood Falls before January's tragic incident.

The council's risk management section completed a formal assessment in 2005 and again in 2013.

In March this year, council officers did a site inspection of Dalwood Falls with Richmond Local Area Command police in a bid to identify additional measures to prevent further injuries at the site.

One recommendation was to remove the trees at the edge of the jump which are used to climb, jump and swing from.

Another option was to fencing on the perimeter.

Solar-powered security cameras with movement sensors are also being considered to deter swimmers, with the police or rangers responsible for removing people ignoring the signs.

Gifting the site to National Parks who manage the nearby Victoria Park has also been put up as an option.

Although the council can already fine people for unauthorised access, Ballina council general manager Paul Hickey said the council's preference was to warn and educate people.



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