SHARK PROBLEM: A court ruling has overturned Queensland’s shark control program using baited drum lines near popular beaches in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area. Pic: Supplied.
SHARK PROBLEM: A court ruling has overturned Queensland’s shark control program using baited drum lines near popular beaches in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area. Pic: Supplied.

Shark control ruling causes frantic action

A COURT ruling forcing shark control drumlines to be pulled up at Queensland beaches has politicians on both sides scrambling to address the situation.

With its 56 drum lines catching sharks sometimes over 3m along the Capricorn Coast, this region will be particularly impacted.

Local politicians including Senator Matt Canavan, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd found common ground with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in decrying the Federal Court's decision to suspend the Queensland Government's shark control program from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area.

 

LOCAL DRUMLINES: Statistics from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries provide insight into the use of drumlines along the Capricorn Coast.
LOCAL DRUMLINES: Statistics from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries provide insight into the use of drumlines along the Capricorn Coast.

In a joint statement released yesterday, the Liberal National Party members said they were concerned about the decision's implications.

"We remain united in putting the safety of human life first and supporting our great tourism industry," the LNP said.

"We are currently reviewing the implications of the decision and what might be the appropriate response.

They said the drumlines and other techniques had been used for decades and have saved lives.

"People are looking for a solution and all levels of Government should work towards the protection of human life," they said.

"We will fight to ensure that proven lifesaving measures can remain in use to help ensure the safety of everyone enjoying Central and North Queensland's beautiful coastline."

 

DRUMLINE STATISTICS: Shark Control Program shark catch numbers by species for Capricorn Coast in 2017.
DRUMLINE STATISTICS: Shark Control Program shark catch numbers by species for Capricorn Coast in 2017.

Yesterday Ms Palaszczuk wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking his urgent attention to protect human lives and the state's $27 billion tourism industry.

"By making urgent changes to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 to permit the continuation of the Shark Control Program in the marine park, your government will ensure that the tourism industry can continue to thrive," Ms Palaszczuk said.

State Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said they will work with the Federal Government to make changes to legislation and implement them.

Mr Furner said he would be seeking a briefing from his department given the threat of green groups targeting other beaches across the state.

Celebrating the court win, Humane Society International said it was a huge victory - not only for marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, but for ocean users.

They said it would allow for the implementation of more humane, modern and more effective swimmer protection.

"Culling sharks is an ineffective method from the last century," the HSI said.



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