News and Updates

Shark Watch not shark nets

Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith today welcomed the efforts of local group Shark Watch NSW to set up a volunteer surveillance service to help protect swimmers and surfers at Ballina’s beaches.

“I fully support this local solution to a very complex problem affecting Ballina’s residents. Shark Watch is well organised and committed to providing a shark spotting service using volunteers and drones,” said Ms Smith.

“Shark spotting was the most effective strategy identified in the Cardno review done on behalf of the NSW Department of Primary Industries in 2015. Smart drumlines and CleverBuoy technologies were also on that shortlist and these have been funded by the DPI – why not the number one option of shark spotting?”


As The Greens education spokesperson I spoke in a Parliamentary debate on the Education and Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, you can either read my speech below or watch the video.




The bill amends three major pieces of legislation that govern schools and education in New South Wales—the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards Act 2013, the Education Act 1990, and the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004. While in many respects this legislation merely reflects the authority that already exists with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards [BOSTES], it provides for the additional power of random inspections and is grounded in a governance and management theory model that, in our view, does not engender safe and settled learning environments.


Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith today extended her sympathy to Seneca Rus, the man bitten by a shark off Sharpes Beach.

“I wish him a speedy recovery and my thoughts go out to everyone in our region who has been affected by shark attacks,” Ms Smith said.

“I do not believe that shark nets will improve safety for swimmers or surfers at our beaches. Bondi Beach for example has shark nets and surfers are still attacked there.”


One of Byron Bay’s social housing properties is set to receive nearly $50,000 to install security lighting within the complex thanks to funding from the NSW Government’s Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF). The property is managed by North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) who applied for the grant to improve night time visibility and security in the neighbourhood.

Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina said, “I welcome this funding to help improve safety in the Byron Shire. Putting the money towards street lighting will benefit the residents at the community housing development but it will also increase the feeling of security for the wider community.”


“I extend my sympathy to all those who have been affected by shark attacks, especially to Cooper Allen and his family after Monday’s incident at Lighthouse Beach and best wishes for his recovery,” said Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina.

Greens MP Tamara Smith today said that the Ballina community was well placed and working constructively together to find models of shark mitigation that provide long term, sustainable safety for ocean users and marine life off our coast.

Ms Smith also welcomed resistance to shark culls and shark mesh nets from the NSW Government in the Ballina region.

“Although people may see culling and meshing as a quick fix, culling does not prevent shark attacks from occurring and installing a shark net in our region would very likely lead to large numbers of dolphin deaths and to even get a net would involve a long legal process,” Ms Smith said.


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