21.1 C
Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Ballina mayor excluded from Sydney shark summit

Latest News

#Bigbadbiomass rally at Condong sugar mill

Around 50 people gathered on Friday morning at the big fig tree near the Condong sugar mill to join the world-wide #Bigbadbiomass protest against the use of biomass to create energy and to emphasise that burning biomass is not ‘environmentally friendly’.

Other News

Water Night coming tomorrow

Rous County Council is putting residents of the Northern Rivers to the test by challenging households to take up the Water Night Challenge.

Epiq sporting facilities ready for summer

Lennox Head’s Clarence Property has just handed over to Ballina Shire Council the newly constructed Community & Sports Amenities Building, at the sports fields opposite Epiq Marketplace, off Hutley Drive.

10 point grumble

Hear hear to David Heilpern’s recent 10 point grumble, particularly points 7, 8 and 9. If the primary objective...

When is a sock not a sock?

A sock is not talked about much – it’s a simple device that is very well known. As the world...

Love Island takes over Federal – time to test the law?

The NSW government legislation has provided a permit for screen filming on private land in NSW without any Council oversight or accountability. This has led to Federal Village currently being overrun by the ITV film company.

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.

Ballina mayor David Wright. (file pic)
Ballina mayor David Wright. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Ballina’s mayor David Wright has been excluded from a shark summit in Sydney tomorrow but is confident that a further summit in October will provide answers to the shark menace threatening the far north coast.

Cr Wright said tomorrow’s summit would be attended by up to 70 scientists from around Australia and the world, looking at the best ways to deter sharks.

He also rejected suggestions from a fellow councillor, Robyn Hordern, made during last week’s council meeting, that the threat of sharks in Ballina was being exaggerated.

Cr Hordern made that comment that there had only been two attacks in Ballina, yet every media report on sharks made mention of Ballina as a hotspot, which was having a negative impact on local businesses.

But Cr Wright said the situation along the coastline was unprecedented.

‘The helicopter has had to get people out of the water 35 times in the past five or six weeks,’ he said.

‘The head of the Department of Primary Industries has said that they have never seen such an aggregation of sharks, baitfish and dolphins,’ he said.

‘As soon as the baitfish go and the whales pass back this way it could remain the same.’

Cr Wright said tomorrow’s summit would be looking at new technologies that could maybe be utilised on local waters.

He said they included magnetic devices and an ‘eco-barrier’ which uses a type of fibre that doesn’t catch any by-catch.

Cr Wright said he was not upset at being excluded from the Sydney summit, despite having taking hundreds of calls from media on the issue in recent months, and also paying for some aerial surveillance from his own pocket.

‘I expected to be invited but I’m not the chair of our shark advisory committee, Cameron Lindsey (police officer) is,’ he said.

‘We should have a report back from Cameron on Wednesday on the summit, and the local chamber of commerce has been conducting a survey of businesses, which closed last Friday, which provide us with further information on the impact on businesses,’ he said.

The summit in Ballina will be held on October 14, and will be followed by a public forum at a date to be announced.

More stories on the NSW shark summit

Call to trial shark technologies in Ballina waters

Ballina beaches should be among the first to trial some of the new shark repellent technologies being discussed at today’s shark summit in Sydney, according to Ballina MP Tamara Smith.


Ballina mayor excluded from Sydney shark summit

Ballina's mayor David Wright has been excluded from a shark summit in Sydney tomorrow but is confident that a further summit in October will provide answers to the shark menace threatening the far north coast.


Ballina businesses surveyed about shark impacts

Ballina business owners have until tomorrow to have their say on how shark attacks in the area have impacted on their businesses.




Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I wouldn’t want Wright’s input either. He’d obviously such a shark lover that his sentimental views would only hold up sensible decisions being made.

  2. I wanted to pass on my research from Ballina on this topic. Thank you, Chris


    28 September 2015

    Ballina residents oppose killing sharks in response to bites – new research

    More than 80 percent of residents in the NSW North Coast region of Ballina oppose lethal responses to shark bites, new University of Sydney research shows.

    “The data shows little public support for measures that kill sharks following shark bite incidents. In fact, a majority of Ballina residents want the government to educate the public about human-shark encounters, invest in non-lethal technology, and back more research into human-shark encounters,” said Dr Christopher Neff, who led the research.

    The representative study of 500 residents in the Ballina state electorate included Lennox Head and Byron Bay shires and was conducted between September 21 and 25 with a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

    Ballina residents were asked, when shark bites happen how do you think the NSW government should respond? Residents want the government to:

    · conduct research to investigate human-shark interactions (33 per cent)

    · invest in new non-lethal technologies (23 percent)

    · educate the public (22 percent)

    · put in shark nets (10 percent)

    · leave the shark alone (6 percent)

    · hunt the shark (3 percent)

    · put in baited drum lines (2 percent).

    Some 55 percent of Ballina residents said shark bites are ‘accidental’, with 21 percent describing them as ‘intentional’ and a remaining 24 percent undecided.

    The study of marine policy and the primary factors affecting tourism in Ballina was funded with a $20,000 grant from the Save Our Seas Foundation and led by Dr Neff with PhD researcher Thomas Wynter, from the Department of Government and International Relations.

    “For three years I have looked across Australia for public sentiment to match the political dialogue that supports lethal nets, culls, hunts, and drum lines but the reality is that these options are now out of touch with the public,” said Dr Neff.

    The preliminary results have been released a day before the NSW 2015 Scientific Shark Summit. The summit, to which Dr Neff is an invited expert, will review new non-lethal options for shark bite prevention and result in a recommendation to the Department of Primary Industries about shark-detecting and shark-deterring technologies for trial on selected state beaches.

    Dr Neff said the findings are consistent with 2013 research in Cape Town, South Africa, which found public attitudes to sharks were largely positive before and after shark bites in two beachside suburbs.

    Media enquiries: Luke O’Neill: (02) 9114 1961; 0481 012 600; [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Can businesses ask for your vax status?

Currently, throughout the business community, we are witnessing uncertainty with respect to business owners asking the question – should we ask customers about their...

Tracking the hardening coast

Researchers are watching our shorelines get harder and simpler.

Recycling polystyrene just got easier at Lismore’s Recycling & Recovery Centre

The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre has a new machine that can recycle polystyrene which will help the facility increase the capacity to deal with this earth-wrecking synthetic-aromatic-hydrocarbon-polymer.

4WDs multiplying on Seven Mile Beach?

Beach users in Lennox Head are reporting much higher numbers of 4WDs on Seven Mile Beach recently, along with an increase in hooning behaviour. Since...