Mayor backs lifejacket law for anglers

Tim Edmunds, Gary Adshead and Liam CroyAlbany Advertiser
Salmon Holes Albany.
Camera IconSalmon Holes Albany. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington has joined the growing local support of the requirement for lifejackets to be worn by anglers at dangerous rock fishing locations.

A trial by the State Government requiring lifejackets be worn at locations identified as “blackspots” is set to be finalised in the wake of the rescue of two men who were washed off rocks at Salmon Holes on Saturday.

Mr Wellington believed a $200 fine would be a fair infringement for failing to wear a lifejacket on dangerous coastline.

“I think that would be reasonable,” he said. “If people can’t think for themselves, sometimes you have to think for them.”

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Premier Mark McGowan said the State Government was finalising the details of the trial in the wake of the death of Albany man Sam Roth on Easter Monday at The Deeps, west of Albany and the most recent incident.

“We will insist, as a trial, that if you are rock fishing in those areas, you must wear a lifejacket,” Mr McGowan said on Sunday. “Salmon Holes at Albany will be one of the first places for that to be implemented.”

Mr McGowan said those failing to wear lifejackets in areas that were part of the trial would be fined.

“I think it’s too difficult to say anyone fishing on rocks anywhere must wear a lifejacket because there are so many areas across WA,” he said.

Albany Sea Rescue squad operations co-ordinator Chris Johns said while the news of a trial was pleasing after long campaigning for lifejackets to be mandatory, he raised concerns of how a blackspot would be identified.

“It’s a quantum leap compared to where we were and thought we were going with this,” he said.

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