National News Ltd Paper Thinks Byron Council “Greens-Led”
THE AUSTRALIAN daily newspaper today (June 9, 2016) published an article claiming Byron Shire Council was "Greens-led". The Australian Brisbane Bureau Chief Geoff Chambers clearly doesn't realise former Greens councillor Rose Wanchap defected to the "Gang of Five" around 12 months ago. Since then Byron Shire Council has voted Conservative on most issues 5-4.
Byron Bay’s Greens-dominated council will today vote on a $9000 “shark-spotting” trial — consisting of two people watching for sharks from an elevated position — in place of drum lines and barriers.
The northern NSW tourist haven has been plagued by an influx of large great white sharks, seen close to surfers and swimmers off local beaches in recent weeks.
Since the death of British expat Paul Wilcox off Clarkes Beach in 2014, Byron Shire Council has protested against supporting traditional shark nets, which are deployed off the Gold Coast.
Greens Mayor Simon Richardson will today put forward a motion to fund a “shark spotters trial program” off Wategos, where sharks are regularly seen chasing fish.
The shark-spotters concept was developed by pro-shark environmentalist group Sea Shepherd, which will run the program using “two trained spotters”.
In his mayoral minute, Mr Richardson said the shark-spotters method did “not pose risks to humans or wildlife” and would help gather data on the number of sharks and dolphins, and schools of fish.
According to Sea Shepherd, the program uses spotters, flags and alarms to alert surfers and swimmers of shark activity.
Byron Shire Council director of infrastructure services Phil Holloway said the two-week trial would cost an estimated $9000. This was expected to be absorbed by ratepayers and Greens Ballina MP Tamara Smith. “It is not yet fully understood how this (cost) would be proportioned between the state government, Byron Shire Council and Sea Shepherd,” Mr Holloway said.
Sea Shepherd, which opposes the use of “smart” drum lines off the north coast, is following the shark spotters model pioneered in South Africa’s Cape Town.