HomeCouncilCouncil funds extension to Nielson Park beach patrols

Council funds extension to Nielson Park beach patrols

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Beach patrols have been extended at Nielson Park Beach in line with the delayed start to the school year

The region’s students can safely enjoy a day at the beach on their extended school holiday break with Bundaberg Regional Council funding additional lifesaving patrols until February 4.

The start of the school year was delayed when Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk announced students would not return to classrooms until the peak of the state’s latest COVID outbreak had passed.

While seven day a week patrols are set to continue at Kellys Beach for the rest of the season under Council’s existing contract with Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), Nielson Park weekday patrols were set to end on Friday January 21.

However Mayor Jack Dempsey said, with students unable to return to school, Council had funded the continuation of the weekday patrols for the popular beach.

“Our pristine beaches are incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“With students not returning to school on January 24 and many parents taking time off to care for them, coupled with the beautiful weather in our part of the world, we expect high numbers at the region’s most popular beaches.

“We want to ensure everyone can safely enjoy some fun in the sand, sea and sun.

“We’re very grateful for our continued partnership with SLSQ and its enthusiastic staff and volunteers which has allowed us to put this additional safety measure in place.

“Nielson Park weekday patrols will be extended from Monday, January 24 through until Friday, February 4.

“Oaks Beach weekday patrols will continue until Friday, January 21, when it will revert back to weekend patrols only until the start of the Easter school holiday break in April.”

SLSQ lifesaving services coordinator Julie Davis said the beaches had proven a very popular destination for holidaymakers this summer.

“Nielson Park has been going off the Richter scale with visitations,” Julie said.

“We’ve had great weather, apart from the little pockets here and there.

“Caravan parks are full, lots of people – lots of families – out and about which is absolutely fantastic.

“Not only at Nielson Park, Moore Park, Elliott Heads and Kellys Beach.

“It’s excellent to see the amount of people on the beach, coming down and spending time making memories.”

Bundaberg Region extended school holiday beach patrol times:

Nielson Park:
• weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm until February 4
• weekends and public holidays from 8 am to 6 pm until the end of January 2022

Kellys Beach:
• weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.
• weekends and public holidays from 8 am to 6 pm until the end of January 2022

Oaks Beach
• Weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, until Friday 21 January 2022
• weekends and public holidays from 8 am to 6 pm until the end of January 2022

Weekend patrols will continue at all of the region’s patrolled beaches through until the end of the season, May 2.

Julie’s top tips for a safe swim:

• always swim between the red and yellow flags
• talk to the lifeguard or lifesaver on duty if you have any questions or queries
• Make sure the kids are supervised, especially during strong weather
• Never drink and swim
• Always swim with a buddy

“We did have a couple of instances over the New Year of drunk 25 – 35 year old trying to swim, one was very, very lucky that there was an off-duty lifesaver there to pull him out,” Julie added.

She said supervision was always critical but it was especially necessary following severe weather events.

“We don’t know what’s happening with the cyclones… we’re still getting a little bit of debris washing up on the beaches.”

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