Ballina MP Tamara Smith will be a member of a just-announced parliamentary inquiry into the management of sharks in NSW waters.
Ms Smith is also Greens spokesperson on marine environment and Fisheries.
The inquiry was announced this morning as a reaction to a spate of recent shark attacks along the NSW coast, especially the north coast, and an unprecedented number of great white shark sightings in recent months.
It has been initiated by the parliament’s multi-party committee on investment, industry and regional development, of which Ms Smith is also a member.
Ms Smith said, ‘This will be an important inquiry to assess the current shark management programs in NSW and compare that with experiences in other jurisdictions.
‘I hope to come out of this inquiry with a strong, evidence-based list of recommendations to government about the best way to keep people safe and also ensure we preserve healthy and biodiverse oceans.
‘I look forward to receiving submissions from the local public, scientists, community groups, and businesses to ensure we can put forward the best recommendations to government. I hope we can also have hearings on the north coast.
‘The current research program and upcoming shark summit will provide even more valuable information for the inquiry to consider,’ Ms Smith said.
Committee chair Kevin Anderson MP said the inquiry had been set up to examine if recent events ‘have impacted winter tourism and how the NSW Government can support [affected] communities.’
Mr Anderson said that inquiry will examine any changes in shark numbers or habitat.
‘This inquiry will investigate what is happening with shark populations in NSW waters, and what the government is doing to protect and educate beachgoers,’ Mr Anderson said.
‘The inquiry will complement the NSW Government’s investigation in to emerging shark deterrent technologies,’ Mr Anderson said.
The inquiry will be open for public submissions until October 23.
The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry include:
- The impact of shark attacks on tourism and related industries;
- Changes in shark numbers, behaviour or habitat;
- Adequacy of management strategies; and
- Measures to prevent attacks by sharks, including strategies adopted in other jurisdictions.