Letters to the Editor - Wednesday, October 19

Mark Lynch

Care needed to prevent accidents

LOG trucks, commuters, tradies, delivery vans, motorcycles, dump-trucks, caravanners and school buses are some of the vehicles that use Orara Way and Bucca road daily.

A high percentage of these two roads are marked with double-white lines to indicate no overtaking and are illegal to breach at any place or time.

I drive a school bus on these roads in the morning and afternoon. I have had more than my fair share of close calls when drivers have had their vehicle stray onto or over these double-whites.

One notable feature is an extremely critical place on Bucca Rd signposted Quayles Bridge/creek where excessive speed and poor judgement has created some close calls.

Please be aware of your responsibilities and take extra care at all times to avoid what may be an avoidable head-on crash.

Mark Linney

'Backflip Baird' on shark safety

PREMIER Mike Baird is now back-flipping on his government's promised science-based response to the risk of shark bites in NSW and its bad public policy.

The Premier knows rolling out shark nets will not guarantee public safety because bites have occurred on netted and un-netted beaches across NSW.

But what he is guaranteeing is that dozens and possibly hundreds of turtles, dolphins, rays and even whales will be killed by the nets. These nets will cull the marine life we love.

My heart goes out to those impacted by shark bites, but the ocean is the domain of sharks and when we go in there we must assume a degree of personal risk. The wildlife is a big part of why we love the ocean and coastal lifestyle in NSW and healthy oceans need sharks.

The role of government can't be to reduce all risk and we wouldn't accept permanent beach closures or wall to wall netting from the Tweed to Bega. Government's role is to fund research into shark movements and behaviors; to empower local people with information and resources to support community-based observer programs like Shark Watch, surveillance drones and elevated viewing platforms; and to support school-based and community education and shark awareness.

What we don't need is either the Premier or the Labor Party using understandable community anxiety to look tough while introducing measures that will kill the marine life we all love and pretending that this is a silver bullet to keep people safe.

NSW Greens MLC

Justin Field

It's time to harvest great white sharks

I SPOKE to Ray Hadley on Monday, October 10 about sharks and measures taken by the State Government to protect boardriders and bodysurfers along the East Coast.

After consulting local lifeguards and pro fishermen I have concluded that sharks can go round, under or over the top of (barrier) nets, which are placed in 10 to 12 metres of depth of water.

Ballina has a large population of dolphins and locals are afraid if Mike Baird introduces nets that these dolphins along with many other fish species will be killed.

I am advised that it is approximately six years since NSW Fisheries limited shark fishermen to a catch of 500kg per week of shark.

Since the great whites have been declared a protected species all shark species have now bred up like rabbits.

Great whites have been most prominent in recent attacks along with a few bull sharks.

I am advised current drumline tagging is being conducted in the Coffs Harbour area - 100 yellow satellite detecting buoys at a cost of $200,000 without the cost of deployment are being placed in this zone to facilitate Twitter and SMS messages advising of the presence of only tagged sharks within a circumference of 500 metres of each station.

But what about the sharks that don't get tagged coming into surf zones?

We also now have 20,000 whales migrating up and down the east coast in close as well as pro fishermen limiting the food source for all competitors.

We need to harvest shark for human consumption in a managed fashion.

Tony Abbott has suggested culling because he has the finger on the pulse because he rides a surf board.

Peter Williamson


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