Council lifeguards from along NSW coast join in conference at Elouera and Wanda beaches

Surf safety initiatives that have proved so successful on Bate Bay beaches have been showcased to lifeguards from along the NSW coast.

More than 90 people attended the Technical Advances in Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Operations conference at Elouera and Wanda beaches on Friday.

The conference, which was hosted by Sutherland Shire Council for the first time, was designed to provide information on best practice in coastal safety management to councils across NSW.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce opened the conference and speakers included Deputy Police Commissioner and NSW State Emergency Operations Controller Jeff Loy and Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce.

"Community safety is one of Sutherland Shire Council's main priorities and other councils are recognising that we are leading the way in coastal safety management," Cr Pesce said.

"That's why we designed this conference, to provide the opportunity to hear from key emergency service, community service and coastal safety service providers and showcase some great initiatives we have introduced here in Sutherland Shire, in one place at one time, and what a great turnout it was."

The event was attended by representatives from 16 councils,the Australian Lifeguard Service, APOLA and the National Mental Health Commission.

Councils represented at the conference included Port Macquarie, Port Stephens, Byron Bay, Tweed, Ballina-Richmond, Newcastle City, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Coffs Harbour City, Kiama, Northern Beaches, Randwick, Shellharbour, Waverly, Wollongong and Sutherland Shire.

While Sydney recorded the highest number of coastal drowning deaths across NSW (11) during the 2018/2019 summer season, Sutherland Shire again recorded no lives lost on local beaches during the summer season.

"We're really proud of our statistic, but that wouldn't be possible without the outstanding work of our professional lifeguards, who are of course supported by Surf Lifesaving NSW volunteers throughout the summer season," Cr Pesce added.

Sutherland Shire Council has introduced new technology and facilities to enhance its ocean safety operations in recent years.

They include coastal safety cameras, an emergency response beacon and observation tower at Greenhills including a complete risk assessment of coastal safety signage.

Council lifeguards who joined with volunteer surf lifesavers in a mass rescue of more than 40 people at North Cronulla Beach in February, have also been recognised with a national award.

Long serving lifeguard Jonathon Lavers was recognised at the conference, being awarded APOLA Lifeguard of the Year and handed the APOLA Outstanding Service Award.