Council rejects danger signs
By PETER CATON
TWEED'S beaches will not be sign posted with warnings about surf dangers despite the drowning of a tourist at north Kingscliff last week and calls for the warning signs to be erected.
Tweed Shire Council is sticking by its 'no signs' policy.
And that's despite semi-official signs having already been erected at the entrances to one beach - Casuarina - warning of dangerous conditions.
Chief administrator Garry Payne said yesterday the Council had legal advice that erecting danger signs could increase its liability, especially at those locations where signs were not placed.
"If you put a sign up you acknowledge a danger is there," he said.
"And the problem is where do you put the signs.
"If you put a sign up at north Kingscliff and say don't swim here, then at north Pottsville if there is no sign, people will say it's safe to swim there."
Mr Payne said the answer to surf dangers seemed to lay in the national education program warning people to only swim in flagged areas, but admitted that might not reach some tourists.
Despite the calls for signs Mr Payne said the Council would be sticking by its existing legal advice but the Council policy has left some baffled.
Casuarina Beach Residents' Association surf safety committee chairperson Gordon Walker said generalised warning signs already erected at Casuarina should be erected elsewhere along the Tweed Coast.
Council officers yesterday were investigating the history of those signs but suggested they may have been erected by developers.
Mr Walker said the signs had been placed at every entrance to Casuarina Beach and covered a range of dangers from strong currents and large waves to deep inshore holes.
The signs warn the beach is not patrolled and the nearest patrolled beach is at Bogangar to the south.
"They are perfectly adequate. They are not very big and they are generic but they do point out the dangers," Mr Walker said.
"People should be made aware of the dangers. It's not an admission of liability; it's a community service."