NSW Election 2023 ABC Illawarra Election Forum Discussion with Cooper Riach, Nick Rheinberger and others
Greens candidate Cath Blakey calls for removing Garie Beach shark net, revoking shark net program
"We need, immediately, the shark net at Garie Beach to be pulled out of the water, because there's no patrols happening at that beach at the moment. It's not a high use beach."
"It's absolutely useless and all it is doing is trapping animals and causing marine wildlife carnage."
"At the moment the Department of Primary Industries has to seek an exemption under the Biodiversity Conservation Act, to kill threatened species and that is just absolutely horrendous."
"The Joint Management Agreement says that they have to reduce the threat to animals and that's not happening. We're seeing Loggerhead Turtles, Leatherback Turtles, Green Turtles as well as rays and dolphins and non-target sharks all getting caught in shark nets and it's terrible."
"When there's an animal caught in the net [sharks] can really sense the distress. It actually seems to be attracting sharks rather than stopping them from getting into the beach."
"Wollongong's got seventeen patrolled beaches and we've got five with shark nets and we know that there's not a greater instance of shark attacks on the twelve other beaches that are patrolled but don't have shark nets."
Cr Cath Blakey, Greens candidate for Wollongong.
'Killing device': Calls to remove shark nets from empty Garie Beach
"How many more innocent dolphins, turtles, rays, whales and other marine animals have to die before this government removes outdated and ineffective shark nets?"
"The Greens are campaigning to remove shark nets from all beaches across NSW in favour of modern, more effective shark risk management."
Cooper Riach, Greens candidate for Heathcote.
Read more in the Illawarra Mercury, 25 February 2023.
Greens call for shark net removal
The Illawarra and Sutherland Greens are calling for the removal of shark nets at Garie Beach in Royal National Park and the revocation of shark meshing program on Illawarra beaches.Read more
Wollongong City councillor renews opposition to shark nets
Wollongong City councillor Cath Blakey will call on her fellow councillors to support a submission to NSW's shark management strategy review that will voice opposition to the use of shark nets as a risk mitigation measure.
The Department of Primary Industry figures on the shark nets, obtained by Cr Blakey, show 258 of the 447 animals caught in shark nets on Wollongong and Royal National Park beaches from 2012 to 2020 died - and 167 of these were threatened or protected species.
"They're having a terrible toll on wildlife," Cr Blakey said.
"Shark nets really give us a false sense of security," Cr Blakey said.
The five-year NSW Shark Management Strategy focused on trialling other technologies to minimise the risk of shark bites to beachgoers, including drones, SMART drumlines - which intercept sharks and allow researchers to tag them - and listening stations, which detect tagged sharks within 500 metres and send out an alert. Cr Blakey said options such as these were safer for both humans and wildlife.
Cr Blakey's proposed council submission voices support for drone and helicopter surveillance, listening stations, personal shark deterrent devices, and SMART drumlines, but opposes the use of nets.
Councillors will vote on Cr Blakey's motion on Monday, April 19.
Reported by Natalie Croxon in The Illawarra Mercury, 13 April 2021