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   Aug 21

Questions need to be answered about who will pay for shock signs at rock platforms

THE sea is an unpredictable thing. Calm one moment, it can throw up unexpectedly powerful waves, especially around rock structures, which can cause rapid upwelling, depending on the sea’s state.
Nanjing Night Net

The sea is also tempting, offering a bounty of food to those who fish from its shore.

For rock-fishers who cast from ledges, it is an extremely dangerous place. Rocks are slippery and waves can be calamitous, as far too many people have discovered to their own cost.

So the call for shock signage in the wake of nine deaths of rock-fishers examined by the coroner is entirely understandable. So, too, moves to make the wearing of lifejackets among rock-fishers mandatory.

But, as deputy mayor John Wells rightly points out, for a local government area with as much coastline as the Shoalhaven, the cost of new signage, not to mention the policing of lifejacket rules, would be a huge impost on ratepayers, the majority of whom do not place their lives in danger by rock-fishing.

So for the idea of new shock signage to gain any traction, some agreement must be reached to share the burden of the cost that would be associated. Yes, local government should make a contribution because fishing is one of the major drawcards of the region and visitors bring in money. But local government should not foot the entire bill because it would be too burdensome and other services or capital works would have to be reprioritised.

We accept that too many people die each year while fishing off rocks in NSW. We accept, too, that warning signs and the provision of angel rings might help reduce this number, as would education.

However, we regard these measures as something the whole state should be pitching in to help with, not just the local government areas whose coastlines are popular with rock-fishers.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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