Nothing ruled out as swimmer safety front and centre

 

More shark drum lines and nets could be installed across Queensland, with the State Government not ruling out any options to improve swimmer safety.

It comes after local real estate agent Nick Slater was killed by a large shark off a Gold Coast beach on Tuesday evening - just months after the death of a man off the Tweed Coast.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the Government had not ruled out any options however it would also not act rashly.

It joins calls for more drum lines to be immediately installed at Greenmount, where the attack occurred, until the shark involved was found.

But Humane Society International marine biologist Lawrence Chlebeck said the group, which launched a legal challenge against the Government's shark control program in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last year, would oppose any additional nets and drum lines.

"What we're asking to do is bring this outdated program up into the century that we're in today," he said yesterday.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner

Mr Chlebeck, who believes drones and smart drum lines should be used, said killing a few sharks wasn't going to make any difference when they were migratory animals.

Mr Furner said human life remained the top priority.

"We have not ruled out any options that could improve safety, however we will not act rashly to make rapid changes to a program that has served Queenslanders very well since 1962," he said.

"I will be meeting with the program's Scientific Working Group to discuss this week's tragedy and discuss some of these proposals."

The Government removed 160 drum lines from the GBRMP after the Federal Court in September last year upheld a ruling that essentially required Queensland to abide by a catch-and-release program.

 

 

The drum lines were returned to those waters in February this year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday if improvements could be made to the state's program, then they should be.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the party supported more drum lines, including SMART drum lines and aerial surveillance using drones.

"There needs to be more drum lines immediately installed at Greenmount until the shark involved in the attack is found," she said.

"The priority always needs to be swimmer safety and protecting local tourism jobs, promoting Queensland as a safe place."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Brisbane. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Brisbane. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Originally published as Nothing ruled out as swimmer safety front and centre


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