The State Government has vowed to back its Shark Control Program measures on the Gold Coast, after law changes forced them to remove drum lines around the Great Barrier Reef.
There’s fears now beaches in the South East could be the next target, but Minister for Fisheries Mark Furner says he will “fight to the last” to make sure drumlines and shark nets remained on the Gold Coast.
“As a grandfather of small children and as a former North Burleigh lifesaver myself, there is nothing more important to me that keeping people as safe as possible in our beautiful Gold Coast waters,” Mr Furner said.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“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.”
It comes after the program came under legal attack by an animal activist group, who 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.
“This is what the HSI brought about in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and what they want to see happen on the Gold Coast,” Mr Furner said.
He’s now encouraging locals who want to make sure the measures stay in place here on the Gold Coast to contact their local MP.
“Gold Coasters need to back in our Shark Control Program in the Great Barrier Reef, and right here on the Gold Coast, and they need to do it today, with school holidays starting today,” he said.
“They 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.”
Mr Furner says the Queensland Government is committed to the Shark Control Program lock, stock and barrel.
“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.”