Brighton shark net retention plea

Safety concerns and a lack of consultation over the removal of shark nets at Brighton Beach have prompted Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Keith McFadyen to seek a reversal on the issue.

At the board's meeting on Thursday, Mr McFadyen will move a motion asking the Dunedin City Council to reconsider its decision to remove shark nets from Brighton Beach, to allow for community and board consultation.

"As an individual I'm concerned, but I want to know if the rest of the board members are concerned too," he said.

The council voted in favour of removing the nets during annual plan deliberations earlier this month.

The decision came after public submissions called for their removal on the grounds of the negative environmental impact they had on other marine wildlife, and their ineffectiveness at preventing sharks coming near the shore at swimming beaches.

The council would save $38,000 a year by not placing the 100m long nets off St Kilda, St Clair and Brighton beaches each summer.

Mr McFadyen was unsure whether his concerns about the lack of consultation and public safety would be matched by the board, but was worried by the situation and by how the council could make the decision through the annual plan process.

"They may think the submission process is valid to go through and we may get some useful feedback [from council]."

Parks and reserves team leader Martin Thompson said "nothing is set in stone".

The council was yet to sign off on the annual plan, which was due for ratification next month.


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