Shark detection and beach safety will be improved at Blacksmiths Beach after Lake Macquarie City Council received a NSW Government grant to fund the purchase of drone technology.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald announced the funding on Wednesday, which was part of $200,000 on offer to community groups from the Shark Observation Grants Program.
“I am pleased to announce that Lake Macquarie City Council has been successful in receiving $33,290 in funding to purchase drone equipment and train staff to conduct a 14 week drone trial for shark observation and beach safety” Mr MacDonald said.
“For a number of years, the NSW Government has allocated grants up to a project total of $30,000 for local surf clubs and councils to improve shark surveillance at a number of the State’s beaches.
“Improved surveillance on beaches provide a clearer line of vision for surf lifesavers to spot sharks and are also useful for spotting people in distress.”
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the region is blessed to have such a beautiful stretch of coastline that many residents and visitors can take advantage of.
“This funding will help Council to continue its work in providing the community with accurate real-time updates on shark sightings, which allows our community to make informed decisions when visiting our beaches,” Cr Fraser said.
Council’s professional lifeguards will also be working with pilots from Lake Macquarie Airport and the NSW Department of Primary Industries helicopter during the trial.
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