Swimmers and surfers at some of Sydney’s busiest and most iconic spots, including Bondi, Bronte and Maroubra Beaches, have received a shark-spotting boost, through the NSW Government’s Shark Observation Grants Program.

The Honourable Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Government Whip in the Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Health said today the Program would deliver an extra five shark-spotting drones, emergency evacuation alarms, lifeguard training and more, to further improve surveillance at NSW beaches.

“It is fantastic to hear that our beaches will have even more shark safety equipment in its arsenal to keep swimmers and surfers safe,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“We can never fully reduce the risk of shark attacks at our beaches but these additional safety measures mean beachgoers will be even safer.

“The NSW Government takes a holistic approach to swimmer safety, and this announcement will complement our $8 million Shark Program announced last year.”

The equipment for Sydney beaches funded through the Program include:

  • Four UAV’s and training for six beach lifeguards for Maroubra Beach through Randwick City Council;
  • A Public Address (PA) System and emergency evacuation alarms for use at Bondi and Bronte beaches through Waverley Council;
  • A PA System and six pairs of binoculars for use at Greenhills Beach and other surf clubs in the Bate Bay region through Sutherland Shire Council; and
  • The conversion of current UAV training package into online training to increase the number of UAV pilots available to operate SLS UAV’s along the NSW coastline through Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) Services.

Mrs Maclaren-Jones congratulated the successful applications, after the NSW Government opened up applications for the Shark Observation Grants Program at the end of last year.

“I commend and thank those organisations for helping us keep beachgoers safe in the water,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Our beautiful beaches are integral to the fabric of our coastal communities, and swimmer safety is of the upmost importance to the NSW Government.”

The Shark Observation Grants Program is in addition to the NSW Government’s $8 million 2020/21 Shark Program, which includes:

  • Drone surveillance at 34 key swimming locations;
  • 35 SMART drumlines in the Ballina and Richmond Valley Local Government Areas;
  • 21 VR4G listening stations along the NSW coastline to detect and alert the community to the presence of tagged sharks;
  • The continuation of the Shark Meshing Bather Protection program between Newcastle and Wollongong; and
  • The SharkSmart app and community awareness and education programs.

More information on the NSW Government’s Shark Program 2020/21 is available from www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au.