Media Releases

Sea Smart technology will help save lives this summer

Victor Dominello – Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government
Wendy Tuckerman – Minister for Local Government
James Griffin – Minister for Environment and Heritage

Friday, 9 December 2022

New technology will be keeping beachgoers safer this summer with the Smart Beaches project providing real-time data to almost 50 beaches in NSW, helping our lifeguards more accurately predict beach conditions using GPS and smart cameras.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the NSW Government had invested $1.6 million to expand the project beyond the Northern Beaches and Lake Macquarie to five new council areas up and down the coast this swim season.

“We’ll be using wave detection buoys, artificial intelligence cameras and surf rescue boards fitted with GPS technology to gather accurate data on beach conditions so our lifeguards can be better prepared for the busy summer ahead,” Mr Dominello said. 

“These smart devices will provide real-time readings on tide conditions and wave patterns, as well as help predict how many people will visit the beach, how long they will stay and the most popular times for a swim.

“The Smart Beaches project means beachgoers can feel safer at the surf, knowing our lifeguards have the latest data on hand to be better prepared for dangerous conditions and prevent incidents both in and out of the water.”

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the NSW Government expanding the trial will mean more councils will benefit from new technology.

“The data insights help councils make better decisions about when and where to roster lifeguards, decisions that could ultimately save lives,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“As a result, this program will now be expanded to beaches in Randwick, Central Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle and Sutherland.”

Member for Manly James Griffin said the technology had been successfully trialled at Freshwater, Shelley, South Steyne and Dee Why beaches.

“We tragically lost 88 lives in the surf over summer 2020-21, and this technology will help lifeguards make more informed decisions to reduce that toll,” Mr Griffin said.

“Our state’s lifeguards need all the help they can get monitoring the surf, conditions, crowd numbers and keeping our beachgoers safe.”

An app is also being developed for Summer 2023/2024 that will help councils streamline existing reporting and data systems into one, easy to interpret dashboard.

Funding has been provided through the Smart Places Acceleration Program, a $45 million allocation as part of the Digital Restart Fund.

Vision available to download:

MEDIA: Matt Whittemore | Minister Dominello | 0472 838 796

Damien Bolte | Minister Tuckerman | 0498 359 624

PDF VersionMinisterial Media Release – 9 December 2022