Under questioning from the Greens late last night in Senate Estimates it was revealed that NSW has written to the Federal Environment Department asking advice about approvals to carry out shark mesh netting and smart-drum lines in Northern NSW.
Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Whish-Wilson says, “It continues to look like the NSW Government is seeking a political solution to the risk of sharks rather than a genuine solution. There is no evidence that mesh nets do anything to make swimmers and surfers safe, although they clearly harm marine life.
“NSW has written to the Federal Minister asking for advice on the approval process for both installing smart drum lines and for installing mesh nets.
“It appears that the NSW Government is looking to the Federal Government to let them off the hook with even needing to apply for approvals. I urge the Federal Environment Minister to ensure that both these approaches are considered as a controlled action as they are effectively indiscriminate shark culls in all but name.
“There is no need for the Environment Minister to misuse emergency powers and give NSW a blank cheque with these shark culls as they won’t make it safe for swimmers and surfers.
“The best thing the Federal Government can do is increase their investment in shark research and use their large voice to let the public know about the risks of swimming in the ocean and how to best take personal responsibility to manage those risks,” he concluded.