Mike Baird‘s backflip on shark nets on the NSW North Coast is copping some flak – both for his reversal of his position on the matter, and the suggestion by activists that nets are unnecessarily cruel, don’t protect surfers and injure local wildlife.

Baird posted one of his trademark massive Facebook posts to explain his decision to backflip after two shark attacks near Ballina.

Baird claims that the mood had shifted, so shark nets were back on the table. “The sentiment in that North Coast community has shifted. It was against nets. The recent attacks have started to shift that. There is a mood and a change within that community,” he told Parliament.

The Premier says he will be writing the Federal Government to request a six-month trial for the nets, citing the current “extraordinary circumstances”

This is the latest Baird policy backflip – after reversing his ban on greyhounds, and rumours circulating that he plans to loosen the state’s restrictive lockout laws – and not everybody is chuffed. World Animal Protection describe Baird’s shark net solution as a “cruel and crude backward step” and not a solution:

They are indiscriminate death traps which will cause carnage for harmless marine animals. The nets designed to ensnare and kill sharks and any other marine animal that crosses their path. To be effective against shark attacks they need to kill so many sharks that they will render local shark populations extinct, taking other marine animals with them. Rays, turtles, dolphins and whales will all be casualties.

Ballina mayor David Wright remains opposed to shark nets too, despite the attacks in his area. “We’ve got a school of 50 dolphins at Lighthouse Beach at the moment and I still think there are better measures to deter shark attacks,” he said.

Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith also opposed shark nets.

Source: Facebook.

Photo: Getty Images.