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Stanwell Park gets new shark observation tower

WCC Lifeguard Blake Doering, WCC Operations Manager Beach Services Paul Dreghorn, WCC Councillor Cameron Walters, State MP for Heathcote, Lee Evans and Life Member of the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association and Distributor of Surveyor Lifeguard Towers, Ken Holloway. The new Junior Surveyor Lifeguard Tower for Stanwell Park Beach is captured in the background.
The shark observation tower on Stanwell Park beach.

STANWELL Park has a new life guard tower.

The Junior Surveyor Lifeguard Tower for Stanwell Park Beach was funded under the NSW Government’s Shark Observation Grants Program, and presented to Wollongong City Council last week.

Life Member of the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) and Distributor of Surveyor Lifeguard Towers, Ken Holloway said having a trained lifeguard in an elevated observation tower, close to the water’s edge is the corner stone of an efficient beach patrolling plan.

“A cabin incorporating polarized viewing glass protects lifeguards so they can be more efficient in detecting shark activity and drowning victims,” Mr Holloway said.

“The risk of shark attack and supervising swimmers will always be a challenge to manage. Lifeguard towers provide that extra barrier of defence along our beaches.

“The towers are portable provide elevation and protection for the lifeguards from sun wind and rain. The polarized viewing glass cuts glare and provides lifeguards with uninterrupted lines of sight. They are a great asset and help lifeguards with their job of saving lives.

The Department of Primary Industry has funded seven observation towers between Stanwell Park and Gerroa at a cost of $280,000.00 over the last four years.

A shark observation tower on Austinmer beach

The Junior Surveyor Lifeguard Tower was fully funded by the NSW Government. The Shark Observation Grants Program was in addition to the NSW Government’s $8 million 2020/21 Shark Program.

State MP for Heathcote Lee Evans presented Council with the towers at a ceremony last week at Stanwell Park Surf Club. Mr Evans said the safety equipment is a great addition to Stanwell Park Beach.

“It will improve beachgoer safety by providing local lifesavers and lifeguards with the tools to spot swimmers in distress, monitor beach conditions and detect sharks,” Mr. Evans said.

 “The new tower also provides lifesavers and lifeguards with protection from the elements whilst they undertake their vital role of patrolling our beaches and keeping us safe.”

Wollongong councillor Cameron Walters welcomed the NSW Government’s investment across the region when it came to surf lifesaving facilities, especially in the northern suburbs at Stanwell Park.

“The NSW Government has invested significantly over the years in the northern suburbs and this Junior Surveyor Lifeguard Tower shows their ongoing commitment to our Surf Life Saving facilities which we manage,” Cr Walters said.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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