News

Call for plebiscite on dolphin-killing shark nets

CAUGHT: This blacktip shark was caught in a shark net off Noosa.
CAUGHT: This blacktip shark was caught in a shark net off Noosa. Contributed

THE Greens have called on the Baird government to hold a plebiscite to see if New South Wales residents support installing mesh shark nets that also kill dolphins, whales and dugong.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said fear of attacks had bred the idea "a person advocating for safer ocean use is anti-environmental and a person advocating for the protection of our marine life is anti-human".

Ms Smith blamed politicians and media for drumming up "this ludicrous binary argument" when in fact it was not an either-or proposition.

"In my lifetime of surfing and swimming on the North Coast, up until a few years ago I had only ever heard of a couple of shark encounters on our beaches," she added.

"Guys 10 years my senior talked about the surfer at Tallows who lost his leg in the 1980s, but it was not something anyone I knew talked about or thought about.

"The situation now is unprecedented and shocking."

Large rallies are already being organised against NSW Premier Mike Baird's statement that community sentiment had shifted in favour of mesh shark nets.

"In Queensland, which the Opposition is glowingly putting forward as a model to emulate, people are screaming for the mesh nets to be removed and drum lines to be used because six juvenile humpback whales have been caught in the nets on the Gold Coast this year," Ms Smith said.

"Good one, Premier Palaszczuk! But hang on - Premier Palaszczuk also supports the world's largest coal mine that is right on the Barrier Reef.

"My community has always been divided on shark mesh nets, but I believe we have always been able to have a civil conversation about it.

"That is what we are calling on the government to do - conduct a plebiscite to find out what people would really like to see happen."

Shark Files Queensland figures reveal Queensland's mesh nets were responsible for killing 76 dolphin and 28 manta rays between 2009 and 2014, with 406 non-targeted species dying in total.

ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  ballina marine life mike baird nsw politics plebiscite shark attack shark nets tamara smith



Councillor's stern warning to latest Goondoon St vandals

Most recent vandalism and destruction on Goondoon St.

Councillor says disrespect toward property affects ratepayers most.

B2B runner trains for week-long desert ultramarathon

WORTHY CAUSE: Gladstone runner Anna Farmer ran with a pack to prepare for her charity race in Utah.

Local runs 8km event to prep for Grand to Grand Ultramarathon.

Rural school gets brand new tuck shop

TUCKING IN: Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher (front) with Ambrose State School principal Andrew Collis and students (L-R) Angus Gordon, Emerson Weir, Tahli Westwood, Nicholas Hiron, Olivia Geiger and Charlotte Pomeroy.

Ambrose State School will soon be able to host functions.

Local Partners

Survivor twist bound to shock

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor, but will everyone be happy? She’s bracing for a viewer backlash.

The Block goes back to school with gorgeous kids rooms

Ronnie and Georgia's winning kids bedroom in a scene from The Block.

ONE magical bedroom received the first perfect score of the season.

A prince is sailing around the Whitsundays

Prince of Denmark Frederik is racing on Wild Oats in the Whitsundays.

Rumours circulating about where the princess is

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry