The safety of rock fishers along our coastline, and particularly at Hill 60, will be an ongoing focus for Wollongong City Council.
Over the coming months, Council will build on recent conversations with key government agencies to collaborate on ways to support rock fishers’ safety. We will also work with local fishers and sports fishing associations to gather grassroots feedback and ideas.
“It’s been a horror start to 2021 for rock fishers with the heartbreaking loss of five lives off Hill 60 and as a Council we extend our sympathy to the family and friends of these men,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM.
“After the tragic incident on 22 January, Council met with NSW Police and representatives from Surf Life Saving NSW to review the incident and what our collective approach would be.
“We’ve recently installed a range of additional warning signage at Hill 60 making clear that lifejackets were recommended. These steps are part of a longer process and we will look for other opportunities to support safer behaviours.”
Cr Bradbery said Council is keen to work with Randwick City Council to look at measures to improve rock fishers’ safety after the Sydney council participated in the State Government’s Rock Fishing Safety Act trial.
“We talking with Randwick to get a sense of how the trial went and what their key learnings are, and how we might apply that locally,” he said.
“We have a strong relationship with Surf Life Saving NSW and we will continue to collaborate with them, as well as NSW Police, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney Water, the Office of Local Government and the Department of Primary Industries Fisheries on ways we can all work together to improve safety. Of course, we’re also keen to work with local fishers and hear their points of view and feedback.
“We are concerned about the high number of fatalities at this location just this year and we want to proactively work on a solution to reduce the risks taken by those participating in this activity along the 42kms of coastline in our city.”
Those looking to enjoy rock fishing will find a range of information on Council’s website on how to approach the sport safely.