Showing posts with label protected species. Show all posts
Showing posts with label protected species. Show all posts

Monday, 21 October 2019

The Queensland white shoe brigade's fascination with destroying pristine land in the NSW Northern Rivers region continues

Echo Net Daily image of the site found at NSW EDO

In 1981 Richmond Valley Council gave consent to DA111/1988 for a four stage subdivision by Iron Gates Developments Pty Limited on environmentally sensitive land bordering the Evans River and Bundjalung National Park near Evans Head in the NSW Northern River region.

In 1991 the consent for those 610 lots was challenged in the NSW Land & Environment Court by Richmond-Evans Environmental Society Inc.

Development did not proceed that year.

In 1993 Al Oslack began litigation in the NSW Land & Environment Court seeking to overturn a Richmond Valley Council consent for Iron Gates Developments Pty Limited's 110 lot development application on the same parcel of land.

This challenge went all the way to the High Court of Australia before the consent would be successfully overturned in 1998 and site remediation ordered.

Remediation remains unrealised to date.

Allegedly unlawful land clearing occured on the site at some point before June 2014.

In 2014, Graeme Angus Ingles, former company director of the now defunct Iron Gates Pty Ltd (deregistered November 2008), lodged a fresh application to develop the site under the name of a company registered in Queensland, Goldcoral Pty Ltd trading under the business name Iron Gates Estate Evans Head.

Shares in Goldcoral are fully owned by Portcount Pty Ltd, previous to this shares were owned by Portcorp Land Pty Ltd

In 2014 Planning NSW would not consent to the development proceeding without a master plan and the application documents had to be amended.

The development application was registered with Northern Regional Planning Panel on 29 October 2014 as an 186 lot development.

This time it was Dr. David Ashley who applied to the Land & Environment Court in 2015 or 2016 seeking records of council meetings with the developer in the public interest.

Now in 2019 DA2015/0096-amended dated 23 July 2019 is before Richmond Valley Council.

This amended development application made on behalf of Goldcoral Pty Ltd by Graeme Ingles of the Ingles Group is for a 184 lot subdivision which includes 175 residential lots, 3 residue lots, 4 public reserves, 1 drainage reserve, and 1 sewer pump station lot.

The developmen is estimated to cost over $12 millionn and impacts on Lot 163 DP 831052, Lots 276 and 277 DP 755624, Crown Road Reserve between Lots 163 DP 831052 and Lot 276 DP 755724, Crown Foreshore Reserve and Iron Gates Drive, Evans Head NSW; 240 Iron Gates Drive, Evans Head.

The Queensland 'white shoe brigade' is nothing if not persistent.


The Northern Star, 2 October 2019:

A revised proposal for the subdivision of land at the controversial Iron Gates Drive in Evans Head has been lodged.
The proposal from three lots to 175 residential lots, three residue lots, four public reserves, a drainage reserve and a sewer pump station will be publicly exhibited from todayfor community feedback.
The development application was lodged by Goldcoral Pty Ltd and includes clearing work, road works, drainage, and landscaping.
The application will be on exhibition until Monday, November 18. Consent authority for the application is the Northern Regional Planning Panel.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said council would wait for the assessment of a master plan by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment before they finalised the development assessment process.
He said all enquiries regarding the master plan process should be directed to the department’s regional office in Grafton.
Mr Macdonald said the proposal also required approvals from relevant State Government agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Rural Fire Service.
“As with all development applications received by council, the Iron Gates proposal will undergo a full professional and technical assessment to ensure it meets relevant NSW Government legislation and planning controls,” he said.
“Following council’s assessment, a report will be compiled and forwarded to the Northern Regional Planning Panel for final determination.”
Mr Macdonald said the planning panel met on an as-needs-basis, and was unable to confirm a final determination date.
Public submissions
He said those interested in the proposal could inspect the application and support documents at council’s customer service centres in Casino and Evans Head, and on council’s website.
He said anyone could formally submit comments to support or oppose the development application during the exhibition period.
However, he said council would not consider anonymous submissions.
“For feedback on a development application to be valid, a submission must be properly made in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act,” Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Macdonald said those providing feedback should be clear on why they were supporting or opposing the development.
State your reasons
He said council needed to understand the reasons behind your submission.
For example, if you think the type of development proposed for your area is unsuitable, you need to say why it is unsuitable – not simply that you don't like it.
It is important to focus on:
Whether the proposed use is consistent with the intent for the area
Whether the scale and design of the proposed development is compatible with surrounding development
How the development addresses the street and interfaces with adjoining properties
Any potential traffic and car parking issues associated with the development
How the development may impact on drainage patterns in the area
How the development fits with the natural environment.
Echo NetDaily, 2 February 2016:

The department of planning and environment (DoPE) has given permission for a proposed development at Evans Heads’ controversial Iron Gates site to go on public exhibition, despite a previous development on the same site being overturned by the Land and Environment Court at the eleventh hour.
The draft master plan for the subdivision would allow for 176 residential lots and four public reserves with fire trails.
DoPE says the land to be developed for residential purposes is ‘already zoned as general residential land by the Richmond Valley LEP’ and that ‘no additional residential land is proposed on the site’.
A DoPE spokesperson said the department recognised ‘the environmental and cultural value of the Evans Head site, including its location on the Evans River, its native vegetation, wetlands and rainforest, as well as the places of Aboriginal cultural significance present on the land.’
The spokesperson added that, ‘if approved, the proponent’s draft master plan would provide a guide against which future development applications can be assessed by the local council or other consent authority.’

Illegally installed infrastructure

But that’s not the view of Al Oshlack, the man who defeated an earlier proposal for the site in the Land and Environment Court 20 years ago.
As a result of that defeat, the court ordered the removal of infrastructure that it viewed had been illegally installed on the land but that was never done.
Mr Oshlack believes that may constitute contempt of court and is preparing to again fight development of the fragile coastal ecosystem.
‘In 1996 the court made orders for land remediation and then they had a special hearing with the chief justice in which they made an extensive remediation order,’ he told Echonetdaily.
‘It never happened. The developer put the company into liquidation and he held out for about 18 years – and the statute of limitations to carry out the court orders lapsed.
‘Part of the development proposal is to test the viability of the various infrastructures: the plan is to utilise as much as they can of the illegally installed infrastructure, plus the illegal access road.
Mr Oschlack said that far from being a ‘guide against which future development applications could be assessed’, the history of the site suggested it was anything but.
‘I think the whole thing should be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. I mean, it’s just a total outrage and contemptuous of the whole legal process and environmental law.
‘And with the alleged illegal clearing that took place in 2014, there has been an investigation going on for two years by the EPA and they have yet to give an answer as to whether they managed to prosecute or not – even though I provided evidence from expert witnesses of the damage that occurred without any development consent,’ Mr Oshlack said.
The department says it is encouraging community feedback on the plan.
Sekuir Migration, 18 April 2018:
Ingles Group, which is known for its wide-scale property developments and well established accountancy firm, Ingles Accounting, is now offering inbound migration services on the Gold Coast.
Graeme Ingles, who heads up Ingles Group, says that migration services are crucial to the ongoing growth of the Gold Coast and that he launched Sekuir Migration in response to growing demand from his customer base.
Many business owners on the Gold Coast are in need of skilled workers, particularly food trades workers who can meet the needs of the thriving tourism and night economy of the region.

ABC North Coast Radio, 25 January 2015:
The Richmond Valley Council has received 62 submissions objecting to the Iron Gates development - the latest comes from the Royal Australian Air Force.
In a two-page letter, the Assistant Director of Estate Planning for the Defence Department, Marc McGowan said: 'Air weapons training at Evans Head is expected to increase in scale and density over time, towards the maximum rate of use of 70 days per year. Aircraft will be conducting bombing during day and night.
'The results of aircraft noise modelling indicate that the aircraft noise exposures from the Super Hornet compare with noise generated by busy road traffic and construction work.
'While Defence makes every effort to minimise the effects of noise on the community, aircraft noise will never be eliminated... and residents in close proximity to Evans Head are likely to be exposed to greater amounts of aircraft noise than experienced in the last few years.'
The statement goes on to read that 'glare from reflective surfaces can affect the visibility of pilots during daylight hours, and artificial water bodies can attract additional birdlife and may expose RAAF aircraft to birdstrike, posing a risk to personnel.
'Based on the above concerns, defence does not support the proposed application.'
Financial Review, 30 March 2011:

Receivers for companies of struggling Gold Coast property developer Graeme Ingles have forced the sale of three major land holdings that could fetch up to $20 million.
The new batch of offerings adds to the bloated stock of Gold Coast land parcels on offer through receivers.
St George Bank has appointed receivers John Shanahan and Ginette Muller of KordaMentha to sell Mr Ingles’s two high-rise development sites at Southport, which could fetch up to $15 million.
The sites total more than 11,000 square metres and both have development approvals for up to 44 levels, including more than 700 apartments.

Smart Company, 20 October 2008:
The Federal Court has found a property developer made misleading claims about the progress of construction of a golf course that was the centerpiece of a Gold Coast property development.
The Federal Court has found a property developer made misleading claims about the progress of construction of a golf course that was the centerpiece of a Gold Coast property development.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Queensland developer Ingles Group and its managing director, Graeme Ingles, over the Tee Trees Residential Golf Community estate at Arundel.
A major selling feature was that it would include a golf course, but there were significant delays in construction of the course.
In 2003, the Ingles Group distributed a letter to potential buyers, providing an update on the golf course construction and a purported explanation for the delays.
But the Federal Court found that by sending the letter to potential buyers, the Ingles Group engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), 17 October 2008:

Justice Spender declared that, by sending the letter to potential buyers, the Ingles Group engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.  It had breached section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by:

  • representing that it had approval from the Gold Coast City Council to construct the golf course when in fact the approval granted was only preliminary and required that various further steps be taken before final approval could be granted
  • representing that the sole or primary cause of delay in construction was the drought when the primary cause was failure to obtain final council approval 
  • representing that it had called for tenders for bulk earthworks for the completion of the course and was awaiting the tender results when it had not yet called for tenders
  • representing that bulk earthworks for completion of the golf course would begin once tenders were received, when it did not have reasonable grounds for making such a claim, and
  • representing, by implication, that the course's construction would soon be well under way and would not be subject to any significant delays when it did not have reasonable grounds for such a claim, and when there were likely to be further significant delays.
According to Democracy 4 Sale from 2003 through to 2006 the Ingles Group made politcal donations to whichever of the two main poiltical parties held government in Queensland during those years.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Northern Regional Planning Panel to consider 140 lot development on 19 September 2019

29 August 2019 

Dear Sir or Madam 


The panel will meet to determine the following development application: 

  2015NTH026 – Clarence Valley – SUB2015/0034 ‐ Hickey Street, Iluka ‐ 140 lot residential (Community Title) subdivision and new roads 

Relevant documents will be available on the Planning Panels website at least seven days before the meeting. 

The purpose of the meeting is to give interested people the opportunity to speak directly to the panel before a decision is made. If you wish to present to the panel, you must register to speak by contacting the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm Tuesday, 17 September 2019 on 02 8217 2060 or via email to 

Any person is welcome to attend the public meeting to observe. 

The panel is required to make an audio record of the meeting and make the recording publicly available on the Planning Panels website. You should be aware that this may include your personal information if you are presenting to the panel. 

The panel will aim to publish its decision on the Planning Panels website within 7 days of the meeting. 

 Guidelines for speakers 

 As a guide, individuals will have 3 minutes to speak, a community group will have 10 minutes in total, and the applicant, including consultant(s), a total of 15 minutes to present and address issues raised in public submissions. Any requests for extending time limits are to be granted at the discretion of the Chair. 

 Please consider focussing your oral submission on how the assessment report has addressed your concerns, as the panel will have read your written submission before the meeting. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Panels Secretariat on 02 8217 2060. 

Yours sincerely 

Lisa Foley Project Officer

Clarence Valley Council voted to recommend the subdivision 6 to 1 on 27 August 2019.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Presentations on the plight of Koala populations will be held at Maclean and Lawrence on 14 August 2019 - be there to support Lower Clarence koalas

Koala at Lawrence in the Lower Clarence Valley
Photograph supplied

Deborah Tabart, Chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation is coming to brief the local community on the plight of koalas and why we need a Koala Protection Act. 

It is amazing that we do not have such an Act to protect one of Australia’s iconic animals. As we know, koala numbers are declining and this issue is now very topical in our area, especially around Lawrence, where koala habitat trees are under threat.

Ms Tabart will be visiting Lawrence and adding the koalas there to the Foundation’s koala map. If you know where koalas are living in the Lower Clarence please come along to the presentation to make sure that all the koala habitats are added to the map. 

There will be two information sessions in the Clarence Valley on Wednesday the 14th August one at 11 AM and one at 6.00 PM. 

Maclean Branch of the NSW Country Women’s Association invites everyone to the Koala presentation at 11 AM on Wednesday 14 August at the CWA Rooms, 40 River Street, Maclean followed by a light lunch. 

A donation of $5 is requested to help with catering. Please let the CWA know via Linda if you are coming so that we will have enough chairs and lunch. Ring Linda on 02 66 47 7373 or email 

The next session is at 6 PM in the evening at the Lawrence Hall, located between the pub and the shop, with a light supper provided for free. 

Ring or text Elizabeth on 0407 883 656 or email It helps to know how many to cater for. 

These events are friendly and informal and a great way to meet interesting people. 

Bring your Koala questions and your appetite.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

When local people power has a win

The rejection of a $25 million development at Byron Bay’s Ewingsdale Rd for a 282-lot subdivision was met with thunderous applause.
Villa World’s plan for a controversial development was unanimously rejected by members of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel at a meeting on Monday.
It was the second DA for the West Byron site to be refused by the panel, as a $40 million development put forward by West Byron Landowners Group was rejected earlier this year.
Numerous speakers pleaded with the NRPP on many grounds, including that they “did not want a Gold Coast” in Byron Bay.
The proposal was refused on 10 grounds including: adverse impacts to surrounding properties; a significant visual impact and undesirable impact on the street scape inconsistent with the northern entrance to Byron Bay; the development was likely to have had adverse impacts on threatened species and ecosystems; no adequate discharge of storm water and was not considered in the public’s interest.
Echo NetDaily, 9 April 2019:

No social or environmental license

Newly reelected MP Tamara Smith said this another great win for our community and people power. ‘The thousands of community submissions and actions highlighting the fundamental flaws in developing this land have successfully culminated in the NRPP rejecting both subdivision plans – against the odds,’ she said.

‘With the rejection of both the West Byron subdivision applications by the NRPP the developers should immediately approach the State government and request that they buy the land and restore it to the Cumbebin Swamp Reserve.

Ms Smith said there is no social or environmental license for a subdivision of the swamp land known as West Byron. ‘So why waste more money on legal battles when the community is utterly opposed.

‘Restitution is on offer for the landowners and they should jump at the chance to be made whole and walk away. They need only look to Condon Hill at Lennox to see decades of iconic land ownership that has never passed muster to see development on it. Get out now is my advice.

‘I strongly advise Byron Shire Council to shelve any idea of a reduced sub-division and instead respectfully ask them to help me actually deliver what the community wants – No West Byron Mega-development.”

Justifiable opposition

Former Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham also spoke to the panel. She said she wanted to acknowledge the amazing efforts of the community in their justifiable opposition to the inappropriate proposals for the West Byron lands.

‘This development fails on every point,’ she said. ‘From the destruction of biodiversity and the threat to the local koala population and wallum froglet, the filling of a flood prone area, likely negative impact on the Belongil Creek and the Cape Byron Marine Park and further traffic chaos on Ewingsdale Road, that will not be alleviated by the bypass.

‘I’m confident these points have been raised in sufficient detail in the submissions to inform a refusal.’

Ms Barham summed up the general feeling on the day. ‘The refusal of Villa World by the Planning Panel alongside the previous West Byron refusal, justifies years of commitment by our community to protect and preserve our special place, with evidence, passion and genuine concern for the future,’ she said after the decision was announced.

‘It makes me feel so proud to be a member of an activist community who knows the value of standing up for what we believe in and thankfully, this time, the independence of the process delivered the right outcome.

‘Well done to everyone who took the time to be involved, no doubt there will be more challenges to come but the refusals vindicates us and our role as protectors.’

Monday, 14 May 2018

Here we are on the NSW North Coast living amid remnants of the splendor that was Australia in 1788.....

....and it is fading and dying before our very eyes, while the Turnbull Coalition Government follows in the footsteps of the Abbott Coalition Government by turning its back on us and our concerns.

North Coast Environment Council, media release, 7 May 2018:


Malcolm Turnbull's Government has launched yet another offensive on the environment, with the announcement it was sacking dozens of scientists.

“The rivers of cash that the government has to splash around don't extend to environmental protection,” said Susie Russell, North Coast Environment Council Vice-President.

“This will have a significant impact on north coast forests. We have been relying on the Recovery Planning process to guarantee some protection for nationally endangered species. Only last month, NCEC was a signatory (with NEFA, the National Parks Association and the South East Region Conservation Alliance) to a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. We pleaded for Canberra to take its environmental responsibilities seriously. We pointed out that the NSW Government was not abiding by Federal Recovery Plans for threatened species.

The Greater Glider is one of the species where a Recovery Plan is required, but nothing gets produced.
Photo by Jasmine Zeleny.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Early end to NSW North Coast shark nets trial and Berejiklian Government urged not to reinstate the controversial strategy.

Echo NetDaily, 3 May 2018:

Local Greens MP Tamara Smith and animal rights activists have welcomed the early end to the North Coast shark nets trial and urged the State Government not to reinstate the controversial strategy.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair announced on Wednesday that the nets would begin coming out immediately owing to the early start of the whale migration season in the region.

The migration officially started on May 1, a month earlier than last year.
Ms Smith said on Thursday that the cessation of the trial should be permanent, and that other measures should be used to enhance community safety.

‘There is no scientific evidence and little community support for putting shark nets back in the waters off the North Coast,’ Ms Smith said in a press release.

‘The data from the North Coast Shark Net Trial is yet more evidence that the shark netting program in NSW does little to keep people safe in the water but takes a terrible toll on local marine life.

‘I support shark spotting by trained personnel such as Shark Watch volunteers or Surf Life Savers, using binoculars and drones.’

According to departmental statistics from the trial, just two of the 132 marine creatures caught in the nets between November 23, 2017 and March 31 this year was a target shark.

Among the other animals caught were a small number of threatened species, including Green Turtles and Great Hammerhead sharks, as well as 23 rays.

Forty-nine of the animals caught in the nets were killed…..

If any reader has a mind to support the permanent removal of these shark nets they can write, phone or email:

NSW Premier Hon. Gladys Berejiklian
GPO Box 5341
PH (02) 8574 5000

NSW Deputy Premier Hon. John Barilaro
GPO Box 5341
PH (02) 8574 5150

NSW Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton
GPO Box 5341
PH (02)  8574 6107

Monday, 19 February 2018

Surprise, Surprise. Nationals appear to be telling pork pies to voters on the NSW North Coast yet again

Echo NetDaily, 15 Februaty 2018:

An animal activist has accused two National Party MPs of 'misleading the public' over claims the RMS has revegetated more than a hundred hectares of land along the Pacific Highway Ballina upgrade route with tens of thousands of koala feed trees.
In recent weeks both roads minister Melinda Pavey and north coast MLC Ben Franklin have made public statements regarding the re-vegetation of koala habitat at Meerschaum Vale to compensate for the damage caused by the highway upgrade construction.
On February 3, Minister Pavey said in a press release that 'the government had re-vegetated 130 hectares of land with 95,000 koala feed trees.'
Then on February 9, Mr Franklin said that 'about 110 hectares, equating to 80,000 koala food trees had so far been planted and there were plans to plant another 20 hectares as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Upgrade.'

Empty paddock

But co-ordinator of Australians For Animals, Sue Arnold, told Echonetdaily she took a field trip to the re-vegetation site earlier this week, which 'revealed an empty paddock with no koala feed trees planted in spite of a sign indicating that the planting was part of a "130 hectares of Koala Food Trees planted".'
Ms Arnold said she was unable to find any other planting sites in the vicinity.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Shark Attacks in Australia: setting the record straight

On Saturday 23 December 2017 Liberal MP for Kooyong and Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Fydenberg penned a media release claiming big bad sharks were about to overwhelm his home state, Western Australia.

The shark in question is the Great WhiteCarcharodon carcharias, classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and currently protected as vulnerable and migratory in the Australian EEZ and state waters under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Federal Minister Frydenberg home for the parliamentary break is of course playing local WA politics during the silly season - having forgotten or ignored the fact that the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) Recovery Plan falls within his ministerial portfolio.

However, it does appear hard for many other politicians to accept that, in the 224 years of human-shark interaction record keeping undertaken since 1788, the number of deaths due to shark attack barely equates to one death per year along the est. 59,736 kilometres of coastline in this country.

Here are a few facts which are on that record.

A ‘shark attack’ is defined in the ASAF as any human–shark interaction where either a shark (not in captivity) makes a determined attempt to attack a person who is alive and in the water or the shark attacks equipment held by the victim or attacks a small-water craft containing the victim…..

Over the 218 years for which records were available, there have been 592 recorded unprovoked incidents in Australian waters, comprising 178 fatalities, 322 injuries and 92 incidents where no injury occurred. Most of these attacks have occurred since 1900, with 540 recorded unprovoked attacks, including 153 fatalities, 302 injuries and 85 incidents where no injury occurred. Attacks have occurred around most of the Australian coast, most frequently on the more densely populated eastern coast and near major cities…

In the 20 years since 1990, there have been 186 reported incidents, including 22 fatalities (Table 1). This represents a 16% increase in reported attacks during 1990–1999 and a 25% increase over the past 10 years (Fig. 3). The majority of attacks occurred in New South Wales (NSW) with 73 incidents (39%), then Queensland with 43 incidents (23%), Western Australia (WA) with 35 incidents (19%), South Australia with 20 incidents (11%), Victoria with 12 incidents (6%), Tasmania with two incidents (1.5%) and Northern Territory with one incident (0.5%)…..

[CSIRO, Marine and Freshwater Research, 2011, Shark Attacks In Australia, p.745]


2012 – 22 attacks (8 provoked) in total, 2 fatalities and 14 attacks involving injury

2013 – 14 attacks (4 provoked) in total, 2 fatalities and 10 attacks involving injury

2014 – 23 attacks (12 provoked) in total, 5 fatalities and 14 attacks involving injury

2015 – 33 attacks (11 provoked) in total, 2 fatalities and 23 attacks involving injury

2016 – 26 cases (9 provoked) in total, 2 fatalities and 16 attacks involving injury

2017 – 19 attacks (2 provoked) in total, 1 fatality and 11 attacks involving injury [up to 24 November 2017]

[Taronga Conservation Society AustraliaThe Australian Shark Attack File (ASAF), Annual Report Summary]

Throughout the world, human populations are increasing whereas shark populations are decreasing because of direct and indirect human impact (Castro et al. 1999). There is evidence that at least some shark populations in Australia have declined as a result of commercial and recreational fishing pressure (Punt and Walker 1998; Punt et al. 2000; Simpfendorfer et al. 2000; McAuley et al. 2007…..

Patterns of attack have changed substantially over time as a result of the changing population and human behaviour. If human activity related to water-based activities and the use of beaches, harbours and rivers continues to change, we can expect to see further changes in the patterns, distribution, frequency and types of attacks in the future. Encounters with sharks, although a rare event, will continue to occur if humans continue to enter the ocean professionally or for recreational pursuit.

It is important to keep the risk of a shark attack in perspective. On average, 87 people drown at Australian beaches each year (SLSA 2010), yet there have been, on average, only 1.1 fatalities per year from shark attack over the past two decades. It is clear that the risk of being bitten or dying from an unprovoked shark attack in Australia remains extremely low.

[CSIRO, Marine and Freshwater Research, 2011, Shark Attacks In Australia]

ABC News, 8 February 2016:

The shark nets used on Sydney beaches in New South Wales do nothing to reduce the chance of attacks, a statistical analysis has found.

Associate Professor Laurie Laurenson from Deakin University's School of Life and Environmental Sciences has analysed 50 years of data about shark mitigation programs and coastal populations in NSW and South Africa.

He told Four Corners reducing the density of local shark populations did not reduce the likelihood of shark attack.

"I can show statistically that there is no relationship between the number of sharks out there and the number of shark attacks," he said.

"It's just simply not there … I'm surprised that it's not there, but it's not there."

It is the first time a comprehensive analysis has been done in an effort to link populations of sharks and people and the number of attacks in netted areas.

The findings are included in an unpublished paper which is in the process of being peer reviewed.

"We could not demonstrate a statistically significant relationship between the density of the sharks and the number of attacks in the localised area around Sydney where there have been historically large numbers of attacks and there've been large numbers of mitigation programs," Dr Laurenson said.

In early 2017 North Coast Voices observed about the predictably lethal consequences of shark netting that the NSW North Coast marine species protection record is a very sad affair.