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Councillor wants more safety signs at Byron Shire beaches

One of the warning signs currently in place at Tallow Beach, Byron Bay.
One of the warning signs currently in place at Tallow Beach, Byron Bay. Megan Kinninment

BYRON Shire Councillor, Paul Spooner has called for more surf safety signs to be installed following the drowning of an Irish tourist two weeks ago after being caught in a rip at Tallow Beach.

Cr Spooner has put forward a motion for the next council meeting that surf safety signage be installed at all patrolled beaches and 40 access points across the shire at an estimated cost of $16,000.

"Tragic deaths from local people and visitors swimming or surfing in the ocean happen far too frequently within Byron Shire," Cr Spooner said.

"This is exacerbated by people's lack of knowledge in water skills.

"Traditional beach signage fails in adequately educating beach goers."

Cr Spooner said this was particularly relevant to Byron Bay's beaches where many overseas tourists visit.

"Reliance on English language signs to convey meaningful information is insufficient," he said.

Cr Spooner said the council was in a key position to "identify risks, publicise unsafe locations and educate the public on safe practices in the surf".

In his council agenda notes, Cr Spooner warns the council may incur a liability if they fail to warn the public of risks of swimming at beaches under their care and control, or if they encourage people to swim where they otherwise might not.

Topics:  byron shire council drowning surf safety



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