Scot MacDonald
SHARK OBSERVATION GRANTS OPEN FOR HUNTER
30th Oct 2018

The NSW Liberal National Government has today announced that up to $200,000 is available for local beach authorities to improve shark surveillance at NSW beaches under the Shark Observation Grants Program.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said our beaches are integral to coastal communities in the Hunter, so keeping them safe is a major priority for the NSW Government.

“For a number of years, the NSW Liberal National Government has been allocating grants to surf lifesaving organisations and councils to improve shark surveillance,” Mr MacDonald said.

“This means lifeguards and beach authorities are better equipped to monitor our beaches – not just for sharks, but also for people in distress to ensure help gets to them as soon as possible.  

“Funding is available for a range of surveillance measures, including observation towers, new observation equipment, emergency evacuation alarms and communication systems and community awareness and bather safety initiatives.

“Applications can be made for new equipment, or to retrofit improvements to existing shark detection infrastructure and joint applications are encouraged.”

Mr MacDonald said the funding program complements the State Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy, which includes trials of SMART drumlines, a network of VR4G listening stations, and helicopter and drone aerial surveillance along the NSW coast. 

“All beachgoers should remember that the best way to stay safe and be SharkSmart in the water is to only swim and surf at patrolled beaches, for swimmers to stay between the flags, and to pay attention to the advice of your local lifeguards and lifesavers.”

The Shark Observation Grants Program (previously the Observation Tower Grants program) is administered as part of the Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program.

All coastal councils, Surf Life Saving NSW, the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association (APOLA) and Marine Rescue NSW are invited to apply for funding.

Applications are currently open until 8th December. For more information visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/sharks/management/shark-observation-grant-program