A protester during one of Mike Baird's recent visits to the North Coast.
A protester during one of Mike Baird's recent visits to the North Coast. Hamish Broome

Super school and shark nets: Mike Baird's big moments

FOLLOWING the announcement this morning that NSW Premier Mike Baird will be retiring from politics, we look back at some of the biggest moments of his career here on the Northern Rivers:

MORE: 'Out of the blue': Clarence MP commends Baird after exit

Greyhound ban and backflip

Man's best friend was at the centre of policy turbulence with the Mike Baird Government's call to ban greyhound racing in NSW.

In July, the government moved to introduce plans to dismantle the industry by 2017 following the findings of an inquiry, conducted by former High Court judge Michael McHugh.

While many people rejoiced at the move, many others were angered by the decision including greyhound owners, punters and track owners.

The ban divided local MPs across the North Coast, with Lismore MP Thomas George in support of the ban and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis against it.

Shark net protesters take on Baird

When Mike Baird visited the Northern Rivers in November 2016 for the installation of the highly contested shark nets at Ballina, Lennox Head and Evans Head, he was met by protesters.

One, Dean Jefferys, while dressed as a Hammerhead shark, attempted to net Premier Baird, and got in a bit of hot water for doing so.

 

A reader sent in this photo of a 'shark' netting NSW premier Mike Baird.
A reader sent in this photo of a 'shark' netting NSW premier Mike Baird. Contributed

Ballina High super school

In February 2015 Mr Baird visited Ballina to announce a new $40 million "super school" for Ballina.

The controversial school will be built on the current Ballina High School site in Burnet St, and is expected to have 1000 students and would be a "world first".

At the time of the announcement, Mr Baird said the school would deliver world-class educational facilities to local students in the region.

"Ballina is a growing region and it is vital we make this investment to ensure local students have access to state-of-the-art educational facilities," he said.

"The new high school will feature the latest technology and innovative classroom design to ensure students are learning in the best possible environment.

 

Anti-protest laws

Locals were up in arms over Mr Baird's laws surrounding protesters, which were formally proclaimed into force on Wednesday, June 1 2016.

The new laws - which Baird said would "save lives" - include $5500 fines for trespassing on sites, and most disturbingly, potential seven-year jail sentences for activists who "lock on".

Lismore Base Hospital re-development

It was a big day when Mike Baird, along with other state and federal politicians officially opened Stage 3A of the hospital's redevelopment project.

The $80.25 million works involved upgrading the dated Emergency Department with an expanded Emergency Medical Unit and a new ambulance bay and drop-off zone.

An express Community Care Clinic, a new Renal Dialysis Unit, Pathology Unit and Satellite Imaging Department, along with the Uralba St parking block were also developed as part of the project.

 

Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, Federal Minister for Health Susan Ley, NSW Premier Mike Baird,  NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner and member for Lismore Thomas George officially opening Stage 3A of the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment.
Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, Federal Minister for Health Susan Ley, NSW Premier Mike Baird, NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner and member for Lismore Thomas George officially opening Stage 3A of the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment. Claudia Jambor

CSG

Coal seam gas exploration on the Northern Rivers has been a highly contentious issue over the last few years, with Premier Mike Baird in the centre of the debate at times.

In June 2015 the Nationals' announced their policy to buy back or cancel all CSG licences on the Northern Rivers.



Man rushed to hospital after two-car crash near Alstonville

Man rushed to hospital after two-car crash near Alstonville

Emergency services have been called to the crash

Sea Shepherd slams 'hand washing' at Ballina Council

Sea Shepherd slams 'hand washing' at Ballina Council

'Public sentiment has turned.'

Work begins on hospital's new North Tower

Work begins on hospital's new North Tower

Lismore Base Hospital tower build commences

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