Statement from Fisheries Minister Mark Furner

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner has expressed his sympathies to the victims of two shark attacks in the Whitsundays.

The Government has advised the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that it is activating special provisions available to it and will set three drum lines in the area tomorrow.

“Nothing is more important than the protection of human life,” Mr Furner said.

“I want these drum lines in place as soon as possible.

“Fisheries officers and water police are already patrolling the area.”

Mr Furner urged swimmers to stay out of the water in the vicinity of Cid Harbour and Sawmill Bay near Whitsunday Island.

“Shark attacks in these waters are rare,” he said.

“That’s why these events are so shocking.”

Mr Furner also paid tribute to those who provided life-saving first aid to the victims along with RACQ CQ Rescue crew, paramedics and medical staff from Mackay Base Hospital.

A 46 year old woman from Tasmania is in a critical condition after being mauled on Wednesday.

A 12 year old girl arrived at Mackay Hospital this afternoon. Her condition is described as serious.

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