QUEENSLAND has moved to further protect the lives of swimmers at its most popular beaches, by allocating new funds in last week’s budget to help deter shark attacks.
Minister for Fisheries Mark Furner said an additional $2.1 million over four years, and an additional $731,000 per annum ongoing, will be spent to help meet the growing cost of the Shark Control Program.
This takes the total funding for the program to $16.1 million over four years and $4.2 million per annum ongoing.
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Eight-five of Queensland’s most popular beaches are protected by nets or drumlines. Mr Furner said only one person has lost their life to a shark at a protected beach in the last 56 years.
“That is one too many but sadly, no measures are foolproof,” Mr Furner said.
“While we continue to monitor emerging technology, the safety of locals and both domestic and international visitors to our beaches is paramount.
“The Shark Control Program has undoubtedly saved lives and that’s why we will continue to support it.
“Any moves to remove the protections on our beaches will place lives at risk.”