Shark Observation Towers Announced For Attack Location Lighthouse Beach in Ballina, Manly Beach, Port Stephens And Shellharbour

12/11/2015 8:44 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Lifeguard Tower on Beach, Isla Christina, Huelva, Andalucia, Spain

As the NSW Government grapples with a spike in shark attacks, including the mauling of a surfer in Ballina on Monday, high-tech solutions have been sidelined for good, old-fashioned observation towers and binoculars.

The Ballina beach where a surfer was mauled by a shark on Monday is one of four NSW locations to have new observation towers built.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said towers would be built at Manly Beach in Sydney, One Mile Beach at Port Stephens, Warilla Beach at Shellharbour and Lighthouse Beach in Ballina.

Manly mayor Jean Hay told The Huffington Post Australia she welcomed anything that would help keep the eight million yearly visitors to the region safe, but that it all sounded a bit familiar.

"When I was a young girl there was a shark tower at the surf club," Hay said.

"I remember climbing right up to the top and ther was a glassed area where you could see the beach.

Indeed the tower, made famous by photographer Mad Dupain, was the latest shark-mitigation technology in 1938, but was taken down due to concrete cancer in 1980.

manly shark tower

The tower in 1947 (above) and in a State Records NSW image with no date (below).

manly surf pavillion

The four towers are costed at more than $13,000 while $3000 has been allocated for Marine Rescue to buy stabilising binoculars.

Emergency evacuation alarms will also be upgraded with an $8000 grant to Surf Life Saving NSW and $5000 will be given to Kiama Council for "aerial inflatable remote shark human interaction prevention".

“This is just one of the measures the NSW Government is putting in place to protect beachgoers from Bega to Tweed Heads,” Blair said in a statement on Thursday.

These announcements are part of the State Government's Shark Management Strategy which included an international Shark Summit at Taronga Zoo in September where high-tech ideas such as an underwater electric fence were debated.

There is also white shark tagging program on the north coast with 14 white sharks tagged.

You can see where these sharks go here.

The Australian Shark Attack File shows two people have been killed in shark attacks in 2015 and a further 22 have been injured.

In 2014, five people were killed in Australian shark attacks with 14 injured.

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