Mayor welcomes BEN sign grants image

20 December 2017

The City of Albany has welcomed the State Government’s announcement it will provide funding of up to $50,000 to regional councils to improve beach safety.

Minister for Fisheries Dave Kelly visited Middleton Beach this morning to reveal that regional councils from Geraldton to the South Australian border would be able to apply for a grant to install Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signage.

Number codes on each BEN sign are recorded by emergency services with the street address and nearest cross street, helping them find the nearest access points when beachgoers quote their location number in an emergency.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the signs are a great initiative and the City will apply for funding to install the BEN signs on local beaches. 

“Albany has a fantastic coastline with many popular beaches, and these signs are an innovative and efficient way to improve beach safety,” Mayor Wellington said.

“If we are successful, these signs will improve response times in an emergency which can mean the difference between life and death.”

Mandurah was the first regional council in the state to embrace the BEN signs and now Albany is keen to be part of the regional rollout of the system. 

The system was developed by Rick Gerring is honour of his brother Ben Gerring, who died from a shark attack at Falcon last year.