BALLINA INTRODUCES NEW ROCK ANGLING LAWS
– by Halden Boyd
ROCK fishers are now required by law to wear a life jacket when fishing in the Ballina Shire.
Anyone not wearing a certified lifejacket at high risk locations will receive an on the spot fine of $100 from the 1st July 2020.
Ballina is one of five coastal NSW councils to be declared under the new Rock Fishing Safety Act to enforce the new legislation.
Last year Richmond Valley Council adopted similar laws for people rock fishing at Goanna Headland at South Evans Head.
The Ballina Council decision means all rock anglers must wear a lifejacket
in high-risk locations including Lennox Headland, Iron Peg, Skennars Headland, Flat Rock, Black Head and Ballina Head.
Anyone fishing from the rocks exposed to an ocean swell, including children and adults that may be assisting, must all wear an appropriate lifejacket.
“People enjoy fishing along the beautiful Ballina coastline but they need to be safe”, Cheyene Willebrands Ballina Council Open Spaces Manager said.
“Rock fishing is a dangerous sport and wearing a lifejacket provides added protection. These new laws mean that wearing a lifejacket is compulsory”.
As well as wearing a lifejacket Ballina Council says people can make rock fishing safer by:
🔸 Wearing appropriate non-slip footwear and light clothing
🔸 Staying alert to the weather conditions
🔸 Never fishing alone
🔸 Planning an escape route in case you are washed in
🔸 Never turning your back on the ocean
🔸 Not jumping in if someone is washed into the water
🔸 Calling 000 or seeking help
Breakwalls are excluded from the new requirement, however the Council is urging anyone fishing to always take care around water, particularly if children are present.
Signage is being erected at high-risk locations in the Ballina Shire to educate the public on the new requirements.
“Whether you are fishing in fresh or saltwater, you are also required
by law to have a NSW Recreational Fishing Licence”, Mr Willebrands added.
For further information anglers are being urged to visit watersafety.nsw.gov.au/rockfishing or they can call Cheyne Willebrands on 1300 864 444