State vows to back Coast shark control measures
THE State Government has vowed to back its Shark Control Program measures on the Sunshine Coast after the program came under fire from animal activists.
Minister for Fisheries Mark Furner said he would ensure drumlines and shark nets remained on the Sunshine Coast.
"As a grandfather of small children and as a former lifesaver myself, there is nothing more important to me that keeping people as safe as possible in our beautiful Sunshine Coast waters," Mr Furner said.
The Humane Society International successfully used Federal law to force unworkable changes to a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allowed the Shark Control Program to operate in the park.
Mr Furner called on Sunshine Coast LNP MPs to back the Shark Control Program in the Great Barrier Reef and on the Coast.
"With only one fatality at a Shark Control Program beach since 1962, beachgoers will fight to keep this program and I will fight right alongside them," Mr Furner said.
"Sunshine Coast LNP MPs need to call their colleague, the Federal Environment Minister, and back the Palaszczuk Government's call for Federal legislation to allow the program to be fully restored."
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Mr Furner said the LNP Opposition was being irresponsible by attempting to play politics with the Shark Control Program, which had previously enjoyed bipartisan support for decades.
"Opposition Environment spokesman David Crisafulli has already encouraged the Queensland Government to 'do more to release sharks still alive'," Mr Furner said.
"This is what the HSI brought about in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and what they want to see happen on the Sunshine Coast.
"Instead of trying to score cheap points, he should get on the phone to his Federal LNP colleagues and ask them to fast-track legislation and allow our Shark Control Program to resume in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
"We have committed $1 million per year over the next four years to explore possible better options than drumlines and shark nets, but I will not back any changes until I am convinced that they will be just as good or better for swimmer safety than our current program."