Council gets a jump on likely injuries
Northern Beaches Council is undertaking a safety review of Manly’s infamous Jump Rock, following several reports of young people suffering injuries.
Deputy mayor and Manly Ward councillor Candy Bingham proposed the review to Council at its December meeting, a week after a 24-year-old woman suffered possible spinal damage at the cliff site.
“It’s a major safety issue,” councillor Bingham told the meeting.
“We’re not going to stop the jumping; it’s a rite of passage and it’s been going on for generations. So, we need to make it safer for our community.”
In 2007, the then Manly Council installed fences at two of the site’s jump points to try and discourage jumpers.
However, councillor Bingham says this safety measure may rather have increased the danger of the activity.
“People still jump by climbing around the fence and jumping from the narrow ledge that provides no run-up,” she explains in her notes to Council.
“Even worse, they climb on top of the fence – a slippery metal rail – that is used as a high-risk eight metre jumping town by people who find the natural five metre drop too tame.”
She suggests the review might consider solutions such as removing the fencing completely, making the fence harder to get around or use as a high-dive tower, or installing signage that links jumpers to apps alerting them to the current tide.
Councillor Bingham says Manly Council also considered demolishing the rock platform entirely in 2009 but chose not to proceed.
At the December meeting, Frenchs Forest Ward councillor Stuart Sprott spoke against the removal of the fencing over concerns Council could be held liable for any future injuries.
“If you take down the fence, you’re almost saying it’s safe to jump,” he asserts.
Council will engage an external risk consultant to conduct the review, which will likely to cost around $20,000.