Qld govt to appeal shark cull ban

The fate of sharks on the Great Barrier Reef will be tested in court as the Queensland government battles to maintain its controversial culling program.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal in April upheld a challenge to the program by the Humane Society, which argued scientific evidence showed drum lines did not reduce the risk of unprovoked shark attack.

The tribunal ordered ordered sharks caught on drum lines could no longer be routinely euthanised, and that they should instead be tagged and released.

It also ordered SMART or Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time drum lines be trialled.

Humane Society International campaigner Lawrence Chlebeck said at the time that the ruling was a “massive victory for sharks and marine wildlife”.

However the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries sought and was granted a stay on the tribunal’s order, allowing it to continue to cull sharks until an appeal against the ban could be heard.

The appeal will be argued on Thursday in the Federal Court in Brisbane.

© AAP 2019