Major Milestone For Project Blueprint

An ongoing state-wide coastal public safety risk assessment project will tick off a major milestone when it travels to Port Macquarie from next week as part of four-year research study to help reduce coastal drownings across the state.

More than 350 people have drowned along the coast of NSW in the last decade, and while the incidents have been varied the vast majority are people caught in rip currents while swimming, or swept from rocks while fishing and almost all occur at unpatrolled locations or outside patrol hours.

Surf Life Saving NSW’s Project Blueprint aims to help reduce coastal drowning deaths by assessing every coastal location in NSW including beaches and rock headlands. The week-long visit concludes the assessment of the Mid North Coastline and represents a significant milestone for the project.

During the site visit the Project Blueprint team will assess 63 kilometres of pristine coastline between Point Plomer in the north and Diamond Head on the area’s southern boundary.

The project is being delivered as part of the NSW Government Water Safety Blackspots Program by the SLSNSW Australian CoastSafe Department with the support of Port Macquarie Hastings Council and the regional division of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“We look forward to welcoming the Project Blueprint team to our area and sharing the local knowledge we have acquired over years of serving the Port Macquarie Hastings community,” National Parks and Wildlife Service Area Manager Steve Atkins said.

“Any initiative that helps reduce the risk of people drowning along our coastline should be broadly supported.”

Since 2004 there have been 12 coastal drownings within the Port Macquarie Hasting Local Government Area, while the Surf Rescue Emergency Response system has logged 72 major incidents in the last 7 years.

Local residents are urged to come to one of the two community forums planned for the area to share their knowledge and experiences of the area’s diverse coastline.

“In a research project such as this it is our experience that some of the best information can be gleamed from talking to people who know the area intimately,” Surf Life Saving NSW Coastal Risk Manager Adam Weir said.

“That is why we strongly encourage anyone who can come along to one of our forums to do so and help us develop a blueprint to reduce the risk of drowning along the Port Macquarie Hastings coastline.”

Community Forum Details:

WHERE:SLSNSW State Operation Centre (13 Central Road, Port Macquarie)
WHEN:Tuesday 27 October
TIME:6:30pm – 8:00pm

WHERE:Camden Haven SLSC
WHEN:Thursday 29 October
TIME:6:30pm – 8:00pm

Members of the public that are unable to come along to one of the community forums but would still like to contribute to the project should contact;

Luke Stigter

lstigter@coastsafe.org.au

For further information about the project or to make a submission, please visit the Project Blueprint Website

Thu 22 Oct 2015