by Penny Robins
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is calling for community comment on a risk assessment study of The Pass at Byron Bay.
NSW Transport Roads and Maritime services
Member for Ballina, Don Page said RMS had engaged Reliance Risk to carry out the study following community concern about safety for users of the area.
The Pass is at the south-east end of Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay and is a popular boating, swimming, surfing and diving location which attracts many tourists.
'There have been several near miss incidents at The Pass in recent years, including a recent dive boat capsize and incidents of alleged surf rage,' Mr Page said.
'In order to best manage safety for the diverse users of the area, we are talking to those who know the area best,' he said.
Two information gathering workshops have been completed – one involving NSW agency stakeholders such as Cape Byron Trust, Bryon Bay Council and NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) and the second involving representatives of user groups such as commercial dive/fishing boat operators, local board rider clubs and surf coaching operators.
'Our aim is to get everyone talking about their experiences, any incidents or near misses they may know about, comments on the effectiveness of current controls, as well as any suggestions on how to best manage the area for the safety of all users,' Mr Page said.
Cape Byron Trust manages the peninsula including the nearby park and boat ramp up to the mean high water mark, RMS manages the water up to the mean high water mark, and Cape Byron Marine Park manages the seabed.
Written submissions to assist with the risk assessment study of The Pass are welcome and should be sent before COB Friday 13 July to: enquirie(at)reliancerisk.com.
The report is due to be handed to RMS in August.
RMS NSW website