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.


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

Fuel remains high on Fraser Coast

Maryborough was paying less for fuel.

PM 'unaware of ceiling collapse drama'

Emergency drama during Malcolm Turnbull visit to Brisbane

Severe thunderstorms with hail and winds on horizon

A photo of tonight's storm taken from Gowrie Mountain by Matt Reeves.

Storms could hit with large hailstones, damaging winds

Local Partners

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals