11.5 C
Byron Shire
May 30, 2023

Education campaign underpins Council’s new leg rope policy

Latest News

Pushing-Up for mental health in June

Australia’s largest fitness-based mental health event, The Push-Up Challenge, is back in 2023, encouraging Australians to push for better mental health.

Other News

Man hit by truck in Tweed dies

About 11.30am (Wednesday, 24 May), emergency services were called to the M1 at Chinderah, following reports a man had been struck by a truck.

Casino Cup Day forced to relocate due to unsafe track

Organisers of Beef Week Cup Day in Casino have been forced to move the event to Lismore after it was found that the Casino Racetrack was unsafe.

Firearm seized following shooting investigation – Ballina

Investigators have seized a firearm and vehicle following an investigation into an alleged public place shooting at Ballina last month.

Vale George Davidson OAM former Tweed Shire Councillor

A funeral will be held today for George Davidson OAM who was once a Tweed Shire Councillor and a passionate advocate for the Tweed.

A basic trust of photos

Basic Trust: A Pinhole Photography Exhibition is opening this Saturday with a talk by the artist.  Local photographic artist, Bruno...

What is the future of Shaws Bay in Ballina?

How we manage our coastal areas have long term impacts both on our natural and built environments. Ballina Shire...

If a law is never enforced, is it still a law?

This is a key question raised by Byron Council’s new regulation requiring surfers at local beaches to wear leg ropes.

In a development that had mainstream media frothing like groms in a cyclone last week, Byron Shire Council decided to erect signs warning surfers that they could be fined unless they are properly tethered to their boards.

Under the rules, surfers could theoretically face a fine of up to $1,100 if they don’t rope up.

However, the reality is that such a policy, while sending a message to surfers about the need to be safe in the waves, is virtually impossible to enforce.

Putting aside the fact that the rules won’t come into force until signs are erected during the next financial year, there remains no practical way to enforce them, and bring about a successful prosecution if the matter is challenged in court.

‘Given the comments in the staff report about the effectiveness of the signage and our inability to enforce it, I’m wondering if this is a good use of money, given our difficult circumstances,’ Mayor Michael Lyon said.

‘We’re putting a new burden on the budget next year that is already under pressure, and putting a greater burden on our already very busy compliance officers.

‘I don’t think this should be a priority at all for compliance staff. I want to make sure our compliance priorities stay with animal enforcement, parking and camping enforcement and other matters that are much more effective.’

However, the mover of last week’s motion, Independent councillor, Cate Coorey, said that the rules and accompanying community education campaign were about changing Byron’s surf culture.

Changing culture

‘Part of how we make this happen is by changing culture,’ Cr Coorey said.

‘That’s why a huge part of this motion is about community education.

‘Overwhelmingly I’m seeing community support for this, including from surfers.

‘People say, “well, surfers are a rebellious community, and they won’t support it”. But they nearly all do because they nearly all wear leg ropes.

‘This is about keeping surfers safe from each other.’

The new rules come following a number of recent incidents in which surfers suffered serious injuries after being struck by boards that were not attached to their riders.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A gem among the many incredible natural wonders of the Northern Rivers

The Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin called a local tourist spot is 'a gem among the many incredible natural wonders of the Northern Rivers' as she announced two reserves in the Lismore region will be upgraded.

Vale George Davidson OAM former Tweed Shire Councillor

A funeral will be held today for George Davidson OAM who was once a Tweed Shire Councillor and a passionate advocate for the Tweed.

3.8ML earthquake hits Melbourne’s northern suburbs

Residents in Melbourne and the northern suburbs were woken in the middle of the night as a magnitude 3.8 earthquake shook the darkness radiating out from the town of Sunbury, about 41 kilometres north west of the city.

Political comment: International revolving doors

Corruption takes many forms, and has become more refined since the days of brown paper bags. In Australia, we have lobbyists, interests and politicians, with the traditional dividing lines between these three now all but invisible, and numerous examples of people moving from one position to another, and then back again, as they prioritise personal gain over what's best for the country.