Politicians invited to holiday on North Coast
LE-BA Boardriders president Don Munro has called on the NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to spend their holidays on the north coast and experience the fear and uncertainty of swimming with sharks for themselves.
"I've put it out there to them that they come up here with their families and spend Christmas and experience the cold face of what we are on a day-to-day basis," he said.
Safety of swimmers and surfers
Mr Munro said there was not enough being done in the short term to protect the safety of swimmers and surfers.
"I'm just wanting the minister and the premier to move on some of these initiatives and put them in place now, before the holidays," he said.
In his 64 years as a surfer, Mr Munro said he has never seen the number of shark attacks the North Coast has experienced in the last year.
"It is definitely unusual," he said.
"People have got to understand that sharks have always been there, in greater numbers this year, but if there hadn't been any attacks, particularly bad and fatal like in Tadashi's case, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
"Because they (sharks) have, for some unknown reason, decided to investigate us, we've got a problem."
Surfers in shock
Mr Munro said many of the Ballina-Lennox surf club members were in shock over the attacks and frustrated that more wasn't being done.
"We're not seeing anything particularly happen around here to assist us and give us confidence to go out in the water," he said.
However Ballina Mayor David Wright said everything was being done to fast-track shark mitigation strategies like the trial eco-net barrier for Lighthouse Beach.
He said there were discussions as recently as this week with the DPI about the eco-friendly netting being installed.
"I would have liked it in (already) but the netting hasn't even been made yet," he said.
"But the guys (are) coming over to look at the position later in the week.
"I think it's been fast-tracked but there's only been one beach as far as I know that has used this netting, and they haven't even made it yet."
The eco-nets are made from rigid nylon rope that can last up to 10 years and forms a completely enclosed swimming area from "seabed to surface, shoreline to shoreline"
Designed by Western Australia company Eco Shark Barrier, the eco barriers do not cause harm to sea life.