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Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams has just announced the NSW State Government has allocated up to $50,000 for the removal of the whale carcass buried at Nobby’s Beach.
After mounting pressure from the community since the whale’s burial on September 18, community spokesperson and business owner Corey Enfield spoke passionately about the need for the carcass to be removed permanently at Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday night.
“If the whale is not removed everything is at stake, our lives, businesses and the community,” Mr Enfield said.
During the meeting, council passed a motion to authorise general manager Craig Swift-McNair funds to address the whale situation on Nobby’s Beach as necessary, but with funds from the state government coming through, it appears the whale will certainly be removed.
Council also announced that beaches would re-open this weekend and will deploy drones to ensure beach-goers remain safe in the water.
“In considering the surf lifesaving flags going up this weekend, council has arranged for a Surf Life Saving NSW specialist drone to be deployed to ensure safety,” council said.
In parliament on Thursday, September 21, Leslie Williams said that regardless of whether there is any evidence or data that supports the view of potential risk, she could understand the heightened concerns from the community.
“There has been considerable community angst around the decision to bury the carcass on the beach for fear that this will attract sharks to the area for the months and possibly years to come as the whale decomposes into the ocean,” Mrs Williams said.
“Last night at the Port Macquaire-Hastings Council meeting, councillors requested the general manager contact me to discuss if there was any financial support the state government might be able to provide council in order to assist them with costs associated with the disposal of the carcass.
“I am very pleased to announce that up to $50,000 in emergency funding from the Public Reserve Management Fund has been made available to cover the cost of removing the whale carcass from Nobby’s Beach and transporting it to landfill,” she said.
“In addition, with the raising of the flags heralding the start of surf patrols on Saturday and the start of school holidays, Surf Life Saving NSW is working with council to commence continual daylight drone surveillance at local beaches over the school holiday period.”