Shark inquiry to kick off in Ballina
A PUBLIC hearing will be held in Ballina tomorrow as part of the Legislative Assembly's inquiry into the management of sharks in New South Wales waters.
The inquiry received more 76 responses during the public submissions period.
Tomorrow's hearing starts at 10.15am at the Ballina Surf Club in Lighthouse Pde, and will hear from 13 witnesses, including tourism leaders, members of the Far North Coast Shark Action Group, lifeguards and lifesavers, surf club members, Ballina Shire Council representatives and a spokeswoman from Sea Shepherd Australia.
Speakers at the formal hearing will be limited to organisations and individuals who previously made a submission to the inquiry, giving them the opportunity to provide additional evidence to the committee.
Informal discussions will be held during the lunch break, which starts at 12.15pm.
Committee members are interested in hearing from local business operators about the impact of the recent shark attacks.
Chairman Kevin Anderson said the inquiry was set to examine if shark attacks impacted winter tourism, and how the NSW Government could support the local community.
"This inquiry will investigate what is happening with shark populations in NSW waters, and what the government is doing to protect and educate beachgoers," he said.
"The inquiry will complement the NSW Government's investigation into emerging shark deterrent technologies.
"We need to learn more about the behaviour of sharks and also the impact of shark sightings and attacks on businesses and communities."