Byron's mayor attacks shark summit

Byron Mayor Cr Simon Richardson.
Byron Mayor Cr Simon Richardson. Contributed

BYRON Shire mayor Simon Richardson has criticised last week's shark summit as being too focused on Ballina.

"It was made very clear to me by both (Clarence MP) Chris Gulaptis and (Ballina) mayor David Wright that I was not welcome at the summit," said Cr Richardson.

"We need to get past being talked at and let other councils such as Richmond Valley and Tweed Heads into the conversation.

"I would also ask that the NSW Primary Industries Minister (Niall Blair) talks to Byron Shire Council because we have a lot to contribute to a whole-of- region solution."

He said after the State Government offered just one daily patrol of Byron shire's beaches by a helicopter that had no contact with shore, the council decided to go it alone.

"We organised our own gyrocopter patrols so we had a craft in the air for four and a half hours every day during the school holidays with communication to shore," he said.

Cr Richardson has asked council staff to arrange a meeting of government representatives, lifesavers and local stakeholders.

"That way we can look ahead at a surveillance program and technological and scientific solutions as part of a long-term shark mitigation plan," he said.

Topics:  byron shire council chris gulaptis david wright niall blair

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