Readers get narky about sharky barrier

OUR Facebook readers had a lot to say about the shark barrier set to be installed at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach.

About 200 people, with some professional fisherman in the mix, attended a rally at North Wall on Friday to voice their opposition to the placement of the Eco-Shark Barrier across Lighthouse Beach.

When The Northern Star posted an article about the rally on our Facebook page, many commenters had something to say.

"Definitely opposed to it, sharks ocean and home not ours," Deborah Hildrew said.

"I'm not a fan, I don't think it will work," Samantha Hambly said.

"Don't care, if there is sharks out there I ain't getting in," Roger Barkas said.

"Great support from everyone who turned up! Let's stop this waste of money and hope if goes somewhere else like dredging the bar or even north creek," Bernard Richter said.

"First storm it will be clogged with tree branches from the river, and the occasional dead cow that the sharks can then gather to feed on… Great tourist attraction! I give it 3 months tops before it's a twisted mess on the beach. The muppets who approved this placement need to be sacked," Paul Richardson said.

"It beggars belief they have designed a structure that runs right through the break and is a bigger hazard than the sharks it is supposed to protect against. This has nothing to do with vocal minorities, the community has gathered and spoken, this is just a shocking example of public policy butchered by terrible implementation. They need to go back to the drawing board and actually consult the people they are trying to protect," Stephen Shearer said.

About 200 people, including local surfers and professional fishermen, turned out to the protest. What are your thoughts on the eco-shark barrier?

Posted by The Northern Star on Friday, March 18, 2016

However others were in support of the eco-barrier:

"I applaud the installation of the shark barrier as it will save lives. Not just the lives of Surfers but also the lives of swimmers. And these swimmers could be your children. I think the whole idea of barriers like this is to save lives & not to cater for surfers preferences lol. Though if it could be placed in a different position for the same cost & still be effective I would be all for it. It seems though as it can't. Many surfers don't like shark barriers at all & have the mentality that the ocean is the Sharks home so if we choose to go in & get bitten that's OK as we knew the risk. However it's not just surfers who use the beach as many people including children swim at beaches. Therefore it's not just surfers opinions that matter. And it's not just the surfers lives that are at risk," Shane Koning said.

"They can't win. People complain they don't do it before Christmas. Now they do it as a trial to see how it goes and people complain. Either way someone is going to be unhappy!" Nadine Wyrsch said.

"Well they have to do something. Businesses are struggling and tourists are staying away in droves from Byron, Ballina, Evans and no doubt many more seaside towns reliant on tourist dollars," Jenny Wren said.

What do you think? Jump online to The Northern Star's Facebook page to have your say on local issues.

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