07/06/2024 11:30 AM

The NSW Police Force is urging the community to be prepared, plan their trips and stay ‘Snow Safe’, ahead of the start of the 2024 ski season.

Operation Snow Safe begins today (Friday 7 June) and runs until Monday 7 October. The high visibility operation will see additional police from across the state deployed to the Snowy Mountains region.

The official NSW snow season begins tomorrow (Saturday 8 June 2024), with ski resorts expecting bumper crowds for the opening weekend.

Locals and visitors can expect to see General Duties and licensing police, as well as officers from the Dog and Mounted Command, Southern Region Enforcement Squad, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, and other specialist officers – including trained Alpine Operators – throughout the season.

Officers will be targeting alcohol-related crime in licensed venues, dangerous and distracted driving on arterial and local roads leading to the snow and risky behaviour on the slopes.

Southern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar APM, said Operation Snow Safe 2024 will be bolstered by the new state of the art Jindabyne Police Station.

“The new and fit-for-purpose Jindabyne Police Station is an important base for search and rescue operations and new technology including our alpine operations room, which allows us to coordinate and monitor emergency situations in real time. This will further enhance our capabilities to respond to incidents in and around the snowfields, which we know attract around one million tourists over the snow season.”

“Snowfield conditions can be difficult to navigate so we’d like to remind everyone to prioritise safety on your journey, plan your trip, take regular breaks, check the weather conditions before leaving and fix snow chains to your tyres in slippery conditions.”

Assistant Commissioner Cassar said police make no apology for targeting those doing the wrong thing to keep the broader community safe.

“Monaro Police District will be bolstered by uniformed and plain clothes officers ensuring people are staying safe in and around at licensed premises, aren’t partaking in risky behaviour by drink or drug driving.

“We will also have additional resources at the ready, as we know visitors come to enjoy the alpine region for a range of activities off the slopes including fishing and camping. We encourage people to always be prepared and carry some form of communication so that in the event you get into trouble, so you can contact emergency services,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said.

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Acting Commissioner Debbie Platz said the Service’s Alpine Search and Rescue Unit was ready to respond to any calls for assistance should they be required.

“I want everyone who goes to the Snowy Mountains to have a memorable visit and to not need the help of our teams, but if they do our highly-trained alpine operators will be ready to assist NSW Police,” Acting Commissioner Platz said.

“Last snow season, SES teams in the region responded to 31 incidents throughout winter to assist Police and other agencies in search and rescue incidents.”

Acting Commissioner Platz reminded skiers, snowboarders and hikers hitting the slopes this winter to take precautions, be prepared and hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) before heading into remote areas.

“Snowfield conditions can be difficult to navigate. Visitors should expect bad weather and be prepared for it. Hikers – no matter how experienced – should stick to the tracks, as whiteouts and snow clouds can quickly and easily disorientate,” she said.


Further information on driving in snowfield conditions can be found by visiting the Centre for Road Safety website: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/index.html


Hikers can contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for more information or visit: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au or www.environment.nsw.gov.au.


For general snow safety tips when visiting alpine regions, as well as useful links you can access: http://snowsafe.org.au/



Media enquiries: NSW SES Media on 1800 067 234 or media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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