Funds needed for extra beach patrols at Shelly Beach
EXTRA lifeguards could be rostered on at Ballina's Shelly Beach over the summer, after Surf Life Saving's Far North Coast branch raised safety concerns with Ballina Shire Council.
In a letter to the council, the branch said Shelly Beach was currently only patrolled by a single lifeguard during the Christmas school holidays.
No patrols are provided during the April or September holidays.
"Even with the completion of the new lifesaving clubhouse at Lighthouse Beach, Shelly Beach continues to be a very popular beach," branch members wrote in a letter to council's general manager, Paul Hickey.
"Often conditions will differ at each of the beaches … making one beach safer and more popular than the other beach.
"There are often times when Lighthouse Beach has few people, while Shelly Beach is heavily used and has no lifeguards.
"The branch strongly supports the provision of two lifeguards at a patrol location for the safety of the lifeguards and the public."
The branch also said it would like a rescue jet ski to be funded to "enable flexibility" in servicing both Lighthouse and Shelly beaches.
Ballina Shire councillors addressed the issue while discussing their shark mitigation strategy at the last ordinary meeting.
In a close vote, a motion to request more lifeguards at Shelly Beach was passed with support by Mayor David Wright.
A recommended funding strategy for the extra patrols will be presented to the council's December meeting.
The council will also continue to advocate to the State Government to provide funds for the shark alarm warning system and other technologies.