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Life jackets mandatory for rock fishers

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016

Life jackets will be mandatory for rock fishers on a dangerous stretch of the Sydney coast, the NSW government has announced.

The 12-month trial aims to increase safety on the 29km coastline in Randwick Council where 17 people have died from rock fishing in the past decade.

It has the highest rate of rock fishing drownings in the state.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott will introduce the Rock Fishing Safety Bill 2016 into parliament this week to take effect on December 1.

"Rock fishing is one of Australia's deadliest pastimes, and of the 10 people who died in NSW in 2015-16 not one was wearing a life jacket," Mr Elliott said in a statement on Sunday.

The move has been welcomed by Randwick Mayor Noel D'Souza.

"I believe that compulsory life jackets is a sensible next step and an important part of the solution to increase safety for rock fishers," Mayor D'Souza said in a statement on Sunday.

Rock fishers in the area will be given a one year grace period before the new law is enforced with a $100 fine.

The legislation comes after a 2015 coronial inquiry into the deaths of eight rock fishers in NSW recommended the use of mandatory life jackets.

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