YES OR NO: Should jet skis be banned in the Ballina Shire?
YES OR NO: Should jet skis be banned in the Ballina Shire?

Ballina man: 'Jet ski hoons should go to Queensland'

JET skis are part of a "hoon culture" that values adrenaline over the natural environment, says a Ballina local who has called for their eviction from area.

East Ballina resident Tobin Saunders wrote a letter to The Northern Star arguing the "disturbing and dangerous" water craft should be banned across Ballina Shire.

After a huge reaction on social media, Mr Saunders spoke at length about his controversial opinion.

He said his "three beefs" with jet skis were their noise pollution, impact on marine life and danger to residents.

"It's been an issue ever since I've been in Ballina, for over 10 years," he said.

"They're like the motorbikes of the water.

"It's probably 50 people in the whole of Ballina Shire that use them, and yet they cause such a danger and disruption to everybody else."

Mr Tobin said he was in touch with Roads and Maritime Services about a crackdown on policing rogue water craft, which had an unfair impact on other water users.

"This is one of the most stressed estuaries in NSW and should be treated accordingly," he said.

"You think of all the water life which has to put up with that endless sound.

"My suggestion would be it's inappropriate for this area.

"It's part of that hoon culture, I call it petro-recreationalism ... why do people have to burn petrol and make noise in natural environments?

"Maybe they can go to southeast Queensland where that kind of behaviour is encouraged."

Mr Saunders also said he believed there was a majority of people in Ballina Shire who agreed with him, and suggested a poll be taken.

But a spokesman from Roads and Maritime Services said there has been only two complaints made about jet skis around Ballina this year.

Ballina mayor David Wright said it wasn't the first time a complaint about jet skis in the river had come up, but said "they've got every right to use their craft as long as it's done safely".

"It's the same as a motorbike, there is always a hoon, but there is also people who do exactly the right thing," he said.

"I don't think just because you riding a jetski you're a rat bag."

However, Cr Wright said jet skiers tempted to be hoonish should consider the impact on emergency services volunteers if they were to have a bad accident.


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