Boardrider clubs and surf schools at beaches along the NSW coastline, including in the Tweed region, will receive lifesaving first aid kits and training specific to shark incidents.
Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the initiative was part of a $500,000 investment from the NSW Nationals in the state government’s 2021/22 Shark Management Program.
The project will be delivered by Surfing NSW to more than 160 groups in an Australian-first for shark incident response.
“NSW has the largest Shark Management Program anywhere across the globe and this is just another tool to help keep surfers safe at the best beaches in the world,” Mr Provest said.
“Unfortunately, most shark bite incidents involve surfers, and this unique partnership will upskill surfers to ensure they have the training and tools needed to save lives in dire situations.
“Here in Tweed, 9 clubs will receive life-saving first aid kits and training specific to shark attacks.
“This investment is about putting these lifesaving skills in the hands of local surfers, who often find themselves first on the scene, providing them with the best training and tools to provide help quickly and effectively.”
Nationals Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said every surfer in NSW would have access to first-aid training through Surfing NSW’s Surfers Rescue 24/7 program, while customised medical kits and training will be supplied to more than 110 NSW boardrider clubs and 55 surf schools.
“To help keep surfers even safer, an additional fleet of 20 drones will be used by Surfing NSW to patrol their events, in addition to our world-leading fleet of shark-spotting drones already delivered by Surf Life Saving NSW,” Mr Marshall said.
The NSW Government’s 2021-2022 Shark Management Program also includes:
- The largest fleet of shark-spotting drones keeping watch over 50 beaches;
- 37 VR4G listening stations to detect tagged sharks;
- 170 SMART drumlines;
- The continuation of 51 shark nets between Newcastle and Wollongong; and
- The SharkSmart app and community awareness and education programs and shark research.
The NSW Government encourages beachgoers to be SharkSmart when entering the ocean and download the SharkSmart app. For more information, visit www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au.