Urgent calls for better shark control measures
THERE are urgent calls for more comprehensive shark control measures after a third shark attack in the Whitsundays in seven weeks but drumlines will not be returning.
The calls for action follow the death of a 33-year-old Victorian doctor of Monday night, a few hours after he was mauled by a shark while swimming with friends at Cid Harbour.
A Tasmanian woman and a Victorian schoolgirl are recovering after they were severely injured in separate incidents on September 19 and 20.
Those attacks prompted the State Government to put drumlines in place, which resulted in the removal of six sharks from the Cid Harbour region.
Since then, however, the drum lines have been removed by the State Government.
Leading the calls for further controls is Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan who is desperately calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to put the drumlines back in place after the latest shark attack.
"I'm renewing my calls for the shark control program in Queensland, which has served governments on both political persuasions, to be expanded to include the Whitsundays," Mr Costigan said.
In a tweet, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed her condolences to those affected by the tragedy and thanked the emergency services crews who attended.
"My thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who lost his life in a shark attack at Cid Harbour. I'd like to thank emergency services who assisted under trying circumstances," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said warnings advising people not to swim at Cid Harbour were being issued following conversations with Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who lost his life," Ms Jones said.
"The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will install temporary signs by the weekend, with permanent signs to be installed within the next few weeks".
Ms Jones said that drumlines would not be redeployed following the latest incident.
"Local charter operators have already been active in telling anyone hiring a boat that no one should swim in Cid Harbour," she said.
"Neither the local mayor, Andrew Willcox, marine authorities nor local tourism operators want to see drumlines redeployed,".
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said no one should be swimming in Cid Harbour after what had taken place.
"As local charter operators have advised, Cid Harbour is primarily a site for mooring," he said.
"We can't be clearer. Don't swim in Cid Harbour".
Dr Blake Chapman, a former University of Queensland researcher and author of Shark Attacks, believes drumlines are not the answer to preventing further shark attacks in Cid Harbour.
"There definitely needs to be more signs in the area that let people know that this is not a place to be swimming given the recent incidents that have occurred," Dr Chapman said yesterday.