LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Mr Mayor, please shut up about sharks
BALLINA Mayor, David Wright is at it again talking about sharks wherever he goes.
This time the world media are comparing him to the mayor from the Jaws movies.
His obsession with sharks can only have a negative impact on how local folk choose to use the ocean for recreation and how tourists view Ballina.
In previous media interviews he dubbed Ballina "the shark capital" of Australia".
Obviously such sensational claims then get repeated and inflated.
It's the wrong approach, Cr Wright. The Fairfax media in Sydney has also quoted him claiming that "people are getting pulled out of the water every day". This is another completely over the top claim by our mayor.
No wonder tourism businesses are struggling.
Not in any way do I wish to make light of the few injuries and deaths by shark attack we have witnessed in the far and mid north coast regions (or anywhere in the world) in recent years, but we need to be very clear that sharks are not, as a rule, stalking the coast looking to eat humans.
In the Star last week the mayor claims that he's been 'misquoted' and that he might be a 'little bit naïve'.
David Wright has been on Ballina Shire Council since the 1980s. While he appears to be enjoying all the attention the media is giving him, including several documentary and TV interviews, he can't claim to be 'naïve' when it comes to sensationalising this very important community and environmental issue.
Ballina now has helicopters flying around almost every day of the week, so it should be expected that the number of shark sightings will increase dramatically.
It's time to put it in perspective, Cr Wright, before more locals and visitors alike cease using the beaches and more local businesses either close or relocate.