A new $16 million NSW shark strategy will help to safeguard the Northern Illawarra’s and Royal National Parks local beaches ensuring they are safe for everyone in the community to enjoy.

In the Heathcote Electorate our pristine beaches and waterways are an integral part of our community and lifestyle, a place of recreation and enjoyment. It is important that we maintain access to them and ensure their safety for our use, as well as for our many visitors who come to this beautiful area. An integrated trial of new and innovative shark deterrent technologies will be implemented across NSW.

As part of the strategy, 20 state-of-the-art shark listening stations will provide remote access to information and near real-time updates of the movements of tagged sharks. Ten listening stations will be deployed between Tweed Heads and Forster, with four earmarked for beaches off  Evans Head, Ballina, Lennox Head and Byron Bay. Trials of barriers, sonar technology and aerial surveillance including drones and boosted public education will be rolled out along the NSW coast and beaches in the Royal National Park and Northern Illawarra could be considered for possible future trials of this innovative technology.

Trials of new technologies will be rolled out at beaches with the most appropriate conditions to support the trial. The safety of Heathcote Electorate residents is our utmost priority, and we will continue to make sure we take the most appropriate actions to ensure this. The world’s best shark experts have helped to model what next steps are taken in a specially designed strategy. The residents of the Heathcote Electorate can expect to be updated on what parts of this strategy are being put into place and how it will benefit them.

Projects to be funded over the next five years as part of the $16 million NSW Shark Management Strategy include:

·         $7.7 million for surveillance, detection and deterrent technology implementation;

·          $7 million for research and implementation trials – which includes the expansion of the shark tagging program; and,

·         $1.3 million for education and community awareness.