Esperance Shire Councillor pushes for shark signage

Shark alert: A push by Councillor Shelley Payne to erect a shark warning sign at Wylie Bay failed after no one on Council offered to second the motion. Photo: Supplied.

Shark alert: A push by Councillor Shelley Payne to erect a shark warning sign at Wylie Bay failed after no one on Council offered to second the motion. Photo: Supplied.

A push by Esperance Shire Councillor Shelley Payne for the Shire to erect a shark warning sign at Wylie Bay and investigate the compatibility of activities along recreational beaches has failed.

The motion, which was raised during the General Council Meeting on April 24, lapsed after no one on council offered to second it.

The motion suggested Council remind fishermen to consider the impacts of their activities on beach users.

As part of the motion, Councillor Payne said Wylie Bay had been the site of two white shark attacks and numerous shark sightings, both of which had been on tourists during the school holiday period.

Ms Payne said it was imperative that adequate signage was installed alerting tourists to potential shark risks and information on how to obtain up to date information on recent shark sightings.

Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott said that although the motion was not supported by the other councillors at the meeting, the Shire would continue working with the state government to update their signage.

“We understand that that is something that a lot of other local governments are doing,” he said.

“It’s about making sure that people can make an informed decision when they go to the beaches.

“We certainly are not advocating trying to restrict access or anything like that, we just want to make sure that people have that knowledge, be it that it may pay to check SharkSmart to see if there has been any recent activity.

“Likewise, we will respond accordingly if there are any incidents.”

Mr Scott said he believed the town could be seeing the state government’s new beach emergency signs erected over the next few months.

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson confirmed that shark signage was the responsibility of the land owner and manager.