Government needs new ideas after shark barrier failure

THE failed installation of a shark barrier off Ballina's coast has left the New South Wales Government is on the hunt for new ways to protect the town's beaches.

The 800m Eco Shark Barrier would have been the longest in Australia and cost $500,000.

But three attempts to install it at Lighthouse Beach all failed.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the government was going back to the drawing board and needed help.

"The contractor advised DPI it had identified major installation and maintenance issues that meant it was not possible to safely and effectively install the barrier, which was the priority and first evaluation criterion for the barrier trials," he said.

"We are now in the process of continuing stakeholder and community consultation to assess other shark mitigation measures that can be trialled at this location as a matter of priority."

Expressions of interest have now closed for grants of up to $50,000 to develop new technologies to lessen the frequency of shark attacks.

Ballina's beaches are not totally unprotected - surveillance drones patrol the coast on weekends for months and shark listening stations have been installed to alert swimmers when sharks are close by. -ARM NEWSDESK


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