Council have shut down the possibility of having a lifeguard service installed at Wagga Beach saying the river is too large to be adequately patrolled.
It comes after a raft of new safety measures, including a defibrillator, were confirmed in the updated safety plan for the beach adopted on Monday evening.
At the council meeting, former SES swift water rescuer and current contender for council Rory McKenzie presented a case in which he called for a lifeguard service to be put in place at Wagga Beach during peak periods.
On Tuesday, council's strategic asset planner Ben Creighton said that the latest safety report did not recommend lifesavers for the area, and council would follow that recommendation.
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"Within the existing water safety management plan we're not looking at having lifesavers down at Wagga Beach," Mr Creighton said.
"It has been considered a number of times but part of the reason is the sheer breadth and scale of the river itself means guarding one small space is not necessarily going to resolve all the issues for us."
Under the new safety plan, a specific designated swimming area will be marked out in signs at the sandy foreshore, however Mr Creighton said even that spot would be unsuitable for a patrol because the recommendation wouldn't be enforced.
"By 'designated swimming area', it's not saying that this area itself is the only space you can swim," Mr Creighton said.
"What it would be identifying is that this area is the safest spot along the river as opposed to some other spaces up near the rocks which have been known to be quite dangerous in previous times."
Initial calls for a lifeguard service came in 2016 following the tragic drowning of 42-year-old Peter (Pace) Abd-El-Kaddous at Wagga Beach, when investigations into a defibrillator and other rescue equipment were also promised.
On Monday council approved the lifesaving rescue equipment after years of investigations and multiple reports, but Mr McKenzie argued the changes should include an in person rescue service.
"As a former swift water operator with the SES and a former lifeguard who managed aquatic facilities, I strongly believe this will always do more to protect our community," Mr McKenzie said.
"Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, it can happen at any time and my experience tells me that I would rather have someone trained and the equipment available in these times of need."
In terms of cost, he suggested a compromise whereby an existing lifesaving service could be used at peak times at the beach.
"We expect lifeguards at our swimming pool at Oasis, and yet the Riverside Precinct will attract many more people in this area, including tourists," he pointed out. "Why can't we compromise? Why can't we use this service over summer, have paid staff providing first aid, educating the public and engaging with the community?"
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