Council supports surfboard leg rope safety campaign

Published on 02 April 2019

Leg rope surf

Byron Shire Council is pushing for a public safety awareness campaign to encourage surfers to use leg ropes. 

Councillor Cate Coorey put forward a Notice of Motion at the March Council meeting, saying the safety of people in the water is at risk when surfers do not use leg ropes on their boards.

“I have personally witnessed people being hit by boards and some near misses at The Pass at Byron Bay and I believe it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured,” Cr Coorey said.

“Beaches like The Pass, Wategos and Clarkes beaches are among the most popular and busiest in New South Wales.

“Everyone should be able to go to the beach and feel safe,” she said.

“Surfers may be legally liable for any injury their out-of-control board may cause but it shouldn’t just be the threat of legal action that makes people realise that the beach is a shared space and to consider other people,” Cr Coorey said.

Councillors resolved to hand the issue to the Byron Safe Beaches Committee, to investigate a public safety awareness campaign focussing on inexperienced surfers and surfers who are not using leg ropes.

The Byron Safe Beaches Committee is currently being set up and includes representatives from Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Surf Life Saving Association and residents.

“Leg rope safety will be included on the agenda for the Committee’s first meeting and we will also look to involve other stakeholders such as board rider groups,” Cr Coorey said.

For more information contact Cr Cate Coorey on 0402 315 345.