OPINION: Shark plan has plenty of promise

WE ARE sailing into uncharted waters with the New South Wales Government's pledge of $16m for shark deterrents.

Much of this technology has never been deployed in Australia, at least not on this scale.

The funds will be spent on increased aerial patrols, two eco-nets and four VR4G listening stations for local beaches.

The four offshore listening devices will be installed at Evans Head, Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Ballina.

The locations for the barrier nets has not yet been finalised but it is likely to be Ballina or Lennox Head.

Ballina mayor David Wright, who has copped praise and criticism in equal measures for his response to this year's shark "emergency", summed it up well when he said: "We are proud to be the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to adopt an integrated approach toward keeping our beaches safe."

Many naysayers may have to eat their words after they described the two recent shark summits in Sydney and Lennox Head as nothing more than "talkfests".

The State Government's responses to this year's spate of shark attacks on the North Coast have been pretty decisive.

It hasn't responded to hysterical calls for nets, drum lines and shark culls.

Instead it has actually listened to the local community, who have overwhelmingly dismissed those measures as old school.

There are no guarantees with the roll-out of this new strategy, which is highly experimental.

If another person is attacked this year, it could all unravel.

But, on balance, it is a good package and well worth trying.



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