11.5 C
Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Lennox shark barrier trial discontinued

Latest News

New attractions for Mullum2Bruns Paddle

There’s new free activities to enjoy at Banner Park in Brunswick Heads after this year’s Mullum2Bruns Paddle, which will be held this Sunday, May 26, from 9.30am till 2.30pm.

Other News

Legal system fails to keep kids safe

Fifteen years ago, Karen Bell’s three children – Bon 18 months, Maddie 5, and Jack 7, were found with their dead father Gary Bell in a vehicle at Perico – a collapsed hippy colony on the NSW far south coast.

Posters gone

I am writing to bring attention to a growing issue in our community – the removal of community posters....

St Helena Tunnel, Ewingsdale – changed overnight traffic conditions 

Essential maintenance at the St Helena Tunnel will be carried out overnight on the Pacific Motorway at Ewingsdale from Monday, 27 May.

Northern Rivers will host the 2025 and 2027 NSW Bowls Championships

Ballina is set to host the 2025 and 2027 State Bowls Championships that will see over 900 competitors vying...

NSW gov’t opens Tweed Valley Hospital

The NSW government is to officially open the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital today after the transferral of patients to the new facility last week.

Getting groovy with Ino

Originally from NZ, Ino Pio is proud to have called the Northern Rivers home for the last decade. When visiting Byron Bay or Ballina you will be sure to see him playing around town.

Attempts to install a shark barrier at Lennox Head have failed. (photo Global Marine Enclosures)
Attempts to install a shark barrier at Lennox Head have failed. (photo Global Marine Enclosures)

By Darren Coyne

Drones flying over Ballina shire beaches could be the main tool to guard against shark encounters this Summer following the failure of shark barriers at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach, and now Lennox Head.

Ballina mayor David Wright said everyone involved in the installation of eco-barriers – from the two manufacturers to Department of Primary Industries staff and Surf Clubs – were ‘devastated’ that attempts to install the barrier at Lennox Head would be discontinued.

The DPI announced via its Facebook page yesterday that the manufacturers of the barrier  had advised that sand movement and swell had impacted the installation process, and the trial would be discontinued.

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright. Photo supplied
Ballina Shire mayor David Wright. Photo supplied

Cr Wright said divers inspecting anchor points on the Lennox barrier had discovered that the concrete blocks buried in sand had become exposed and were causing ropes to fray.

‘All was going well. They had two parts of the barrier braced but a couple of hours later when divers inspected they found that the back barrier had become frayed and wasn’t going to work,’ he told Echonetdaily.

DPI staff are on site today working with the manufacturers Global Marine Enclosures to remove the barrier and discontinue the trial.

‘We appreciate that many of you will be disappointed to receive this news,’ a DPI spokesman said.

‘I am sure you can appreciate that both GME and our team share this disappointment.

‘It is important to remember however, that this was a trial aimed at testing whether exclusion barrier technology could be used in Australian east coast conditions.

We are committed to continuing to work closely with you and the local community to explore complementary shark mitigation technologies included in our strategy that may be suited to local conditions.
We will provide another update in the near future.’

Cr Wright said although the failure of the barriers was disappointing, efforts to mitigate shark encounters would continue in the lead-up to the busy Summer holiday season.

‘We are looking at towers on top of the headlands with flashing lights and two-way communication between the drones and surf clubs,’ Cr Wright said.

He said drone technology was improving rapidly, with the latest models able to stay on patrol for up to four hours, carrying cameras, a loud hailer, and even a raft with a shark shield in it.

He stressed that no Ballina Shire Council money had been lost as a result of the failure of the barriers as the trials were being funded by the state government.




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. At the outset it was said that they were still in the development phase, so it’s no surprise that they failed. Why use Ballina as the testing ground? And why waste all that money? We didn’t really want them anyhow.
    There have to be safer, less invasive ways to deter sharks from doing what comes naturally. After all the sea is their habitat.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Five hours spent at last Thursday’s Byron Council

If you need a fix of local government decision-making, you could dip into the odd five-hour online recording of what occurred at last Thursday’s Council meeting.

Editorial – Optics vs reform

One of the more hyped elements of last week’s federal budget was a $300 handout to every homeowner to alleviate the increase in energy costs.

Final kambo witnesses called, inquest yet to hear from Lore Solaris and Cameron Kite

The Jarrad Antonovich inquest ground inexorably towards its conclusion yesterday, with more evidence from witnesses showing the tragedy could possibly have been avoided, and certainly the ongoing damage lessened, if everyone involved had taken responsibility earlier.

A long story

I see that Israel supporters take exception to the expression ‘from the river to the sea’ as meaning that all Jews should be wiped...