New Marine Rescue Tower

Media Release
21 April 2017

Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith said how pleased she was that the Ballina community has a state-of-the-art marine rescue facility, at the official opening of the Ballina Marine Rescue Tower today.




Another dolphin dies in Ballina's shark nets

12 April 2017

Media Release

Another dolphin is dead due to the shark net trial off Ballina beaches, with the fourth monthly report from the Department for Primary Industries revealing that a Bottle Nosed dolphin died in the net off Lighthouse Beach between 8 March and 7 April.

“The DPI’s shark nets trial has really turned into a dolphin, ray and turtle net trial, except that they aren’t the target species!” said Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith.

Why is religion being peddled in secular schools?

Media Release

12 April 2017

Member for Ballina and NSW Greens spokesperson for Education, Tamara Smith, has criticised the NSW Government’s rejection of of the recommendation in the independent review into scripture teaching in NSW public schools that religion be an opt-in for students rather than compulsory unless you opt-out.

The recommendations about school enrolment forms and making Special Religious Education (SRE) an opt-in option for students was not supported by the NSW Government in its response to the 2015 review which has only just been publically released, despite the Greens asking for the release of the report for 12 months.

Flood waters don’t recognise local government boundary lines

Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina, today in parliament called on the National Party's NSW State Emergency Minister to assure the communities of Byron and Ballina Shire that he was not playing politics at their expense when he made the decision to deem only Tweed and Lismore (both National Party State Seats) as eligible for Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Payments.

Ms Smith said, “How is it even logical to think that the State Government was able with total assurance to decide that only the Local Government Areas of Tweed and Lismore were eligible? Even a single property can stretch across two LGAs!"

“This suggests that flood waters and inundation respect the arbitrary boundaries of local government areas. The NSW Minister for Emergency services Troy Grant and fellow National party Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin are responsible for the recommendation and data presented to the Commonwealth," said Ms Smith.

Tamara Smith thanks emergency services for flood assistance

Tamara Smith's speech to NSW Parliament today thanking SES volunteers and other emergency services and volunteers for the help they have given the residents of Ballina and Byron Shires during the flooding resulting from the storms after Cyclone Debbie.







Ballina and Byron deserve Disaster Recovery Payment too

Greens call for Byron and Ballina Local Government Areas to be eligible for Disaster Relief Funding

Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith and Greens North Coast spokesperson, Dawn Walker have jointly called for Byron and Ballina Shires to be eligible for disaster relief funding under the Commonwealth’s Disaster Recovery Program.

Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina said:

“It’s outrageous that both the NSW Premier and Prime Minister came to visit the North Coast to see our flood-ravaged communities, yet both failed to recognise the major impact to communities in Mullumbimby, New Brighton, Billinudgel, South Golden Beach, Ocean Shores, Cabbage Tree Island and elsewhere, where houses were inundated and people’s property destroyed.  

“Natural Disaster Areas have been declared in Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs, yet only Tweed and Lismore LGAs are eligible for financial support to assist them get back on their feet after this devastating event.”

Flood assistance

MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith has been receiving regular updates on the flooding situation in the Ballina and Byron Shire areas.

"I've been in close communications with SES Area Commander Kaylene Jones and I've spoken to our Ballina SES Controller Gerry Burnage and Byron SES Controller Mike Davison-Long for local updates. Yesterday I was in contact with the NSW Premier who visited Tweed and Lismore, which have been majorly affected. I am expecting to be given a briefing by the Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant tomorrow."

"The Byron SES alone have done 200 rescues since Thursday and out of town support from the Blue Mountains SES and Campbeltown SES have made a huge difference to our on ground support - thank you so much to those volunteers who have come such a long way to help."

"The evacuation centre at Ocean Shores has had about 40 people there over the last few days. Residents at Billinudgel, New Brighton, lower lying areas of Ocean Shores, and nearby areas have experienced flooding."

Byron Shire Council has the following local flood help page for residents and they are providing extra rubbish collection services.

"The Ballina SES have had volunteers from Snowy River, Southern Highlands and the Hunter SESs. They wish to thank Ballina Shire Council staff, the Rural Fire Service staff, the Salvation Army, Red Cross and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for their help and to particularly thank the residents of Cabbage Tree Island for their co-operation during their evacuation on Saturday." 

Northern Rivers natural disaster zone

After days of heavy rain leading to road closures and flooding, the Northern Rivers area has been declared a Natural Disaster Zone, with the Government announcing disaster assistance for communities in the region.

Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) is providing assistance to the local government areas of:

  • Ballina
  • Byron
  • Kyogle
  • Lismore
  • Richmond Valley
  • Tweed.

Assistance includes:

• Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged

• Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
• Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations
• Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
• Grants to non-profit organisations.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said the rain and flood damage across such a wide area is shocking.

Question in the House - Renewable Energy

30 March 2017


Ms TAMARA SMITH ( Ballina ): I direct my question to the Premier. Will the Premier inform the House whether the Government agrees with the statement by Barnaby Joyce that the Australian Capital Territory renewable energy target is "completely insane", given an Australian Capital Territory power purchase agreement signed under the Australian Capital Territory renewable energy target is helping to finance the Sapphire wind farm near Glen Innes and creating 265 jobs?

Battery storage for businesses

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage are conducting workshops to provide businesses with the knowledge, skills and tools for integrating battery storage systems into business operations.

The training is to be held over two days

  • Part 1: Webinar Monday 3, April 9am – 1pm  (venue – your computer)

  • Part 2: Half day workshop Tuesday, 9 May (The Byron at Byron, 77-97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay) - bookings needed - cost $200.

For more information and to book visit

Email:  phone:  1300 361 967 (ask for the Energy Efficient Business team)

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