Snow visitors reminded to play it 'SnowSafe' this season

Issued: 9 June 2017

Media release - Minister for Emergency Services

Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant has welcomed the commencement of 'Operation SnowSafe'.

NSW Police Acting Southern Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Rod Smith, and NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Greg Newton officially launched the 2017 snow safety operation today at Perisher.

Mr Grant said there are a number of simple precautions visitors should take to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring when at the snow.

"We encourage people across NSW to get out and make the most of the snow season, but also to be mindful of the conditions. Heed the advice of the police and SES before making tracks, as it could just save your life.

"Whether it is fitting chains to your tyres before travelling on icy roads, submitting a Trip Intention Form and hiring a Personal Locator Beacon before venturing into the snow, or simply looking out for your mates on the ski fields, snow enthusiasts must take responsibility for their own safety.

Mr Grant also took the opportunity to thank the police officers and SES volunteers who will be deployed to the region to respond to snow-related emergencies.

"Our first responders have undergone rigorous training to prepare for blizzard conditions and search and rescue operations.

"The remote nature of our alpine areas presents special safety issues, and our police and emergency services personnel are ready and prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.

"The NSW SES has 40 volunteers who are highly trained to be able to traverse difficult terrain, and also survive in extremely cold conditions when supporting NSW Police in alpine search and rescue missions.

"However, we do rely on snow enthusiasts to keep themselves out of harm's way. When you put your own life in danger, you are also risking the lives of the first responders sent to rescue you."

The official launch of the snow season coincides with NSW Police's Queen's Birthday road safety operation, "Operation Stay Alert".

"There will be a high visibility police presence across each snow resort and in the surrounding alpine area from this weekend targeting drink-drivers, speeding, mobile phone use behind the wheel and those not wearing seatbelts.

"People of all ages should be able to enjoy the snow fields, free from alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour. Look out for each other on the slopes and consider those around you," Mr Grant added.

The NSW snow resorts are expected to attract nearly half a million visitors between now and the end of the official snow season in October.

For more information about Trip Intention Forms and Personal Locator Beacons go to: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety/alpine-safety