The Palaszczuk Government is doing everything it can to ensure swimmer safety with additional Shark Control Program equipment being installed at beaches close to the boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said 17 extra drumlines were going into the water between Townsville, Mackay, Capricorn Coast and Gladstone.
“This takes the number of drumlines in these areas from 37 up to 54,” Mr Furner said.
South Lamberts Beach
Harbour Beach (2 nets)
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher welcomed the addition of extra drumlines at Tannum Sands.
“The Palaszczuk Government is 100 per cent committed to the safety of swimmers at our beaches and these extra drumlines are an important contribution to that,” Mr Butcher said.
“I want to see all of the Shark Control Program drumlines back in the water and the Federal Government must act now to change its legislation to allow this.”
Mr Furner said: “The Opposition wants to catch and release dangerous sharks near our most popular swimming areas, instead of backing our long-standing Queensland approach of catching and removing the risk.”
The deployment of additional drumlines outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park followed last week’s Federal Court decision which meant that all sharks caught within the marine park must now be tagged and released alive within 24 hours.
“At this time, we do not have the appropriate equipment to immediately and safely comply with these new conditions,” he said.
“Consequently, we have had no choice but to suspend our program within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“We are undertaking a range of communications activities to advise the community, Surf Life Saving Queensland and tourism organisations about the removal of shark control equipment.
“The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol staff have installed temporary signs at affected beaches to advise swimmers that Shark Control Program equipment has been removed.
“The Government will also continue the swimmer safety SharkSmart education and awareness campaign, and some locations, such as Cid Harbour, will remain as swimming exclusion zones.”
Be Safe. Be SharkSmart
- Don’t swim at dawn or dusk
- Always swim in clear water (not in murky water, anchorages, estuary mouths or canals)
- Don’t throw food scraps or fish waste overboard
- Don’t swim where fish are being cleaned
- Swim, surf, snorkel or dive with a buddy
- Follow local signage and swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.
Minister Furner said that the government was committed to trialling alternatives but didn’t believe that SMART drumlines, which have been trialled in other states, were appropriate in the Great Barrier Reef.
“In these trials, sharks can be relocated offshore safely but in much of Queensland’s north, releasing sharks offshore is potentially dangerous because many of these areas are important tourism destinations used by swimmers or other water users.”