The Palaszczuk Government has announced Fisheries Minister Mark Furner and Tourism Minister Kate Jones will meet with local authorities, marine experts and tourism industry officials on Friday following the fatal shark attack at Cid Harbour this week.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the meeting would enable local industry representatives and officials to sit down directly with experts.
“It’s vital that we take the advice of experts and focus on the science to inform our decisions,” Mr Furner said.
“We want to support our tourism industry and we have some of the foremost marine science and fisheries experts in the world here in Queensland.
“This is about getting the key local stakeholders in the same room to talk about what’s best for locals and visitors.
“Our safety message remains the same – don’t swim in Cid Harbour.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government was committed to working with industry representatives and the local community.
“It’s important that we work collaboratively to find the best long-term solution for locals and the local tourism industry,” she said.
“We don’t want to dictate to experts and locals – it’s important they have a say in how we tackle this.
“Safety is our number one priority. The tourism industry has already been working closely with operators to make sure tourists are properly briefed about the risks of getting in the water at Cid Harbour.
“Tourism is a vital industry for the Whitsundays. We’ll also discuss ways to support tourism operators through this tough period.”
Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Wilcox welcomed the announcement and said he was looking forward to engaging with experts.
“We need to work together to address this issue,” he said.
“Friday’s meeting will ensure we hear everyone’s views and we make informed decisions.”
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Natassia Wheeler said the industry’s focus was ensuring we work together and listen to experts.
“It’s important that we don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to the tragedy this week,” she said.
“Local tourism operators continue with stringent warnings to visitors and advising visitors not to swim in Cid Harbour.
“But we need to work with experts and all levels of government to find a longer-term solution.”