Tweed Councillor James Owen (Liberal) and Deputy Mayor Reece Byrnes (Labor) are calling on the NSW state government to supply more funding for shark mitigation.
Hosting a meeting with key stakeholders in Tweed Shire last week to discuss concerns over shark mitigation Cr Owen said there was ‘a feeling out there that not enough is being done to keep our beachgoers safe from shark attacks’.
‘Since the 7 June fatal shark attack on surfer Rob Pedretti at Salt Beach I have been approached by community members, surfers, boardrider clubs, and our local surf clubs, asking me what is being done to ensure our safety on Tweed Shire beaches,’ said Cr Owen.
‘The Salt attack shocked our close knit, beach loving, community and there is still a real sense of fear and uncertainty about going into the water along the Tweed Shire’s 36 kilometres of coastline. We need to do whatever we can to give people the confidence to enjoy the ocean, knowing that as much as possible is being done to keep them safe.’
The group recognised that it wasn’t possible to eliminate all risk of shark attack but that one of the most effective ways to prevent shark incidents is surveillance – from the sky, the beach, and the water.
Moving forward a working group will be formed to discuss ways that local surf clubs and boardrider clubs can work together to provide surveillance during busy periods and events.
‘One of the key messages from the meeting was that that significantly more funding is needed from the State Government to help deliver more shark mitigation measures. I’m calling on the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall MP, and the State Government, to provide more funding for shark mitigation measures in the Tweed Shire.
Representatives from Salt, Cudgen, Fingal, and Cabarita surf life-saving clubs, Cabarita, Kingscliff and Snapper Rocks boardriders, Juraki Surf Culture, In2Surf Surf School, the Australian Lifeguard Service, Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch, and my colleague Councillor Reece Byrnes (Labor) were in attendance at the meeting.