MP calls for heads to roll over drumline saga
NORTH Queensland First leader Jason Costigan wants heads to roll, accusing the Labor and LNP parties of "passing the buck" on shark control.
On Wednesday the Whitsunday MP called for State Minister Mark Furner, who has responsibility for Queensland's shark control program, and Federal Minister Sussan Ley who oversees control of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, to resign from their respective positions.
Mr Costigan said Tuesday's attacks on two British tourists at Hook Passage and the subsequent media coverage had tarnished the Whitsundays reputation as an international tourist destination.
The LNP's Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry says the Queensland government can put its traditional drumlines back at the Capricorn Coast where they'd been removed.
But both Mr Furner and Labor's Keppel MP Brittany Lauga maintain this can't be done following a recent Federal Court ruling against cruelty to sharks.
Mr Furner says due to logistics and safety concerns his government is unable to comply with new conditions which have changed the shark control program from "catch-and-remove" to "catch-and-release".
On Wednesday Ms Lauga issued this statement to The Morning Bulletin.
"My thoughts are with the two men affected in this week's incident between Hook and Whitsunday Islands.
"I don't want to see dangerous sharks hanging around our beaches in peak tourist season and the opposition's catch-and-release program won't work.
"Even the LNP agree that their mates in Canberra need to act now.
"The deputy opposition leader told media that the Morrison government should act in trying to get the decision to implement a catch-and-release program 'reversed'.
"The only plan the LNP has is to release dangerous sharks when caught. The science is against this, yet the LNP refuses to listen.
"A recent report into shark movements has provided further proof that catching and releasing sharks will not work. It will simply release sharks back to near where they were caught.
"The deputy opposition leader couldn't tell media how much the catch-and-release plan would cost or where it would be implemented.
"This is the same deputy opposition leader who in February demanded drumlines be installed at Hamilton Island after an attack by a toadfish.
"The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a federal park, governed by federal laws and only the Morrison government can change the legislation to allow our program back in.
"That's why I'm calling on the LNP federal government to restore Queensland's shark control program in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
"It's now up to the federal LNP to do the right thing for the safety of our community."