Shark nets have failed in both Lennox Head and Ballina.
Shark nets have failed in both Lennox Head and Ballina. Contributed

'Told you so' moment over shark net failures

THE failed Lennox Head and Ballina shark nets were costly mistakes but the New South Wales Government is not ready to say how expensive just yet.

Shadow minister for the North Coast Walt Secord asked outright during parliament how much had been spent on the ill-fated experiments.

The Ballina shark net at Lighthouse Beach was abandoned in August.

Lennox Head's rendition of the shark mitigation structure was axed this week.

"We wanted to see how they would perform on the East Coast of Australia in different conditions," Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said.

"We said that it was a trial. We said that we would trial two different types of nets and that successful and safe installation of the nets would mark the first stage of the trial.

"One of the nets was to go in at Lighthouse Beach. Unfortunately, the shifting sands in that location meant that it was too dangerous for the contractors to install that net.

"The next phase of the trial was at Lennox Head, where the net was successfully put into the water.

"Unfortunately, the conditions over the weekend caused an issue with that barrier and it will now need to be removed from the water."

Mr Blair did not reveal the cost of buying and trying to install the two shark barriers, only saying it was part of the government's $16 million shark strategy which included measures such as smart drum lines, 4G listening stations and aerial surveillance.

"We are rolling out a suite of measures for this summer to help the people on the North Coast address this issue," he said.

"We knew that we needed a suite of measures. There is no one-size-fits-all solution."

Mr Secord issued a media release saying the shark nets had been a waste of time and money.

"The Nationals ignored the local community and to no one's surprise the nets did not work," he said.

"The Baird Government was forced to announce on Facebook that sand movement and swell had impacted the installation process, and the trial would be discontinued at Lennox Head."

ARM NEWSDESK



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