Tamara Smith acknowledges resilience of Ballina 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.

“I thank the Minister for Primary Industries and the Premier for their temperance around this issue. I will be pursuing with the Minister a feasibility study for shark spotting at Lighthouse Beach. This would give us coverage for seven hours a day for beachgoers and the South African model was ranked number one in the government’s own review of non-lethal shark mitigation strategies.”

“Lifesaving in Australia in the last century has been an incredibly effective way to keep beachgoers safe with minimal technology. Shark spotting offers us a similar model.”

“I am appalled at Labor’s blatant political opportunism calling for culls 12 hours after a shark bite and then retracting it 12 hours later.

“I have asked the Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, to provide funding for shark spotting. I welcome his non-lethal shark technology approach to this issue and I look forward to continue working with Mr Blair and the Department of Primary Industries to find ways to enable the public to feel safe at our beaches,” said Ms Smith

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