Rous Water promotes safety

SAFETY FIRST: Rous Water general manager Kyme Lavelle with one of the new signs at Whian Whian Falls.
SAFETY FIRST: Rous Water general manager Kyme Lavelle with one of the new signs at Whian Whian Falls.

ROUS Water will ban tour busses from visiting Whian Whian Falls and put up signs encouraging people to use the popular swimming spot responsibly after a comprehensive review triggered by safety concerns.

General manager Kyme Lavelle said there had been a number of calls to the rescue helicopter and complaints from neighbours over the years because of dangerous diving and Rous had consulted with Lismore Council, the police and their insurers about how to best manage the situation.

Mr Lavelle estimated the falls attracted up to 500 people a day during the height of summer and said there had been some pressure on Rous Water to fence the area off. But he said any such measures were unlikely to keep people out and instead they have decided to reduce the number of visitors by stopping the tourist busses and embarking on a public information campaign to ensure people use it in a responsible way.

"Rous Water recognises that Whian Whian Falls is a location of spectacular natural value and that the swimming hole is an important one for the local community... At the moment the site is over used by commercial operators....We recognise there are considerable risks, but if people act responsibly we will continue to allow local access," he said.

New signage will also be a part of the public education campaign.

A written statement said: "Rous Water has a duty of care to all persons visiting the site and as a result, Rous Water is required by its insurers to install upgraded signage advising of these dangers and hazards...The signage shall highlight the prohibition of jumping, diving, camping and the consumption of alcohol."

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