NSW Government rejects shark cull
SHARK culls have been ruled out but the NSW Government says North Coast beaches are the perfect place to trial new shark-repelling technologies.
Tenders have been called for independent agencies to review new technologies including sonar or magnetic deterrents, barriers, land-based shark spotters and chemical or electrical repellents.
Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the results of the review would be presented in September.
"It is envisaged that this review and the subsequent workshop will identify any new emerging technologies that have potential for trialling in New South Wales coastal ocean waters, with options for northern NSW beaches to be included in any such trials," he said.
"Results of the review and workshop will be presented to the northern NSW community to assist them in their efforts to reduce shark interactions."
Mr Blair said his department had already identified staff based in the region to help with any future shark interaction mitigation strategies.
"In addition, grant opportunities exist for land-based observation infrastructure to be installed on the North Coast to assist in spotting sharks under the towns grant program," he said.
North Coast surfers this week called for a limited shark cull.
A public meeting at Lennox Head was attended by about 200 people, mainly surfers, as well as Ballina mayor David Wright.
Le-Ba Boardriders Club president Don Munro said there was a strong consensus from those attending the meeting for "controlled management or culling".
He said seven individual sharks had been identified since regular aerial patrols began by Air T&G Helicopter Services.
"For sure the mood in the room was definitely more for than against (culling)," Mr Munro said.
"The situation we've got is a diabolical one, we're in a (shark) hotspot right now.
"We're talking about people's lives and livelihoods, socially and economically if we don't get on top of this.
Their call hasn't swayed the government. "The Premier ruled out shark culls earlier this year," Mr Blair said.
"At this stage there are no plans to change this."