Shark nets will be a month late
PLACEMENT of eco barriers off Ballina's Lighthouse Beach has been delayed by a month following a meeting between the local council, state government representatives and the manufacturer.
Ballina Shire Council Mayor David Wright said there were hurdles but most importantly the manufacturer, Craig Moss from Eco Shark Barrier, wanted to take the time to get it right.
"We aren't upset at all because this has never been done anywhere in the world before," Cr Wright said.
"If this works it will be able to be replicated right around the world. It's in his best interests to make it work," he said.
Cr Wright said the nets would be installed using anchors rather than 12m-long pylons as originally proposed.
"(The manufacturer) has got it half-made ... he's made it stronger and more flexible," he said.
"It's not on the pole where it can slide up and down, now it will be permanently fixed with anchors."
The Eco Shark Barrier will stretch 800m from Lighthouse Point to the North Wall.
Cr Wright said the barrier should be installed "well and truly into March", and the installation date for the Lennox Head barrier was about June.
Meanwhile helicopter surveillance of beaches, which was due to end on Australia Day, has been extended until Easter.
Parliamentary secretary for the North Coast Chris Gulaptis said the extension was due to recent shark activity. "Recent aerial surveillance programs conducted in our region have shown to be an enormous success," Mr Gulaptis said.
"Having that extra eye in the sky over our beaches during this time will give swimmers and surfers extra confidence when hitting the water," he said.
Cr Wright said the 4G listening stations, which provide real time tracking data of tagged sharks, would continue as expected.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Primary Industries said the stations provided significant information.
"One tagged shark has travelled more than 6000km since it was tagged in August," they said.
"The data also suggested that the tagged white sharks are not permanent residents of the Ballina area, with many sharks now moving south."
In the past five weeks 12 of the 14 tagged sharks have transmitted data.