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New funding to safeguard Ballina beaches

The NSW Government has announced an observation tower at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina will be one of seven successful projects being funded under the popular Observation Tower Grants.

Marine Rescue has also been allocated $3,000 to purchase stabilising binoculars, and Surf Life Saving NSW has been allocated more than $8,000 for emergency evacuation alarms.

North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin said this was another part of a raft of measures the Government was implementing on the North Coast to protect beachgoers from Shark attacks.

“Observation towers are not only useful for spotting sharks, they are also helpful for spotting people in distress and for offering a clear line of vision when there is a big swell,” Mr Franklin said.

“After the incident in Lighthouse Beach on Tuesday locals are rightly worried about the safety of their friends and family – and what the Government is doing to help.

“My thoughts are with Sam Morgan and his family, it’s a very tough time and I know the community is thinking of them.

“I’m obviously pleased to see that Ballina will secure this observation tower, it will be another link in the chain in the Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy which is already rolling out in Ballina and Byron.

“A number of measures will be trialled this summer and I’ve written to all Surf clubs in the area letting them know they contact me to discuss at any time.

“In the meantime I would encourage people in Ballina and Byron to download the SharkSmart mobile app, which provides a range of simple tips to better protect beach goers and make an informed risk assessment before entering the water.”

Further information about the Department of Primary Industries’ SharkSmart programs can be found at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/info/sharks

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