Ministers endorse reef strategy

Published:

The Australian Government has committed $5 million to help the Queensland Government re-deploy shark drum-lines and improve swimmer safety inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

An initial $4 million will help support Queensland’s transition to non-lethal shark control measures with further costs to be assessed as the Queensland Government implements:

• SMART drumline trials

• rebates to councils to install swimmer safety netting

• piloting drone surveillance  

• swimmer education.

This program will comply with the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, upheld by the Federal Court, while protecting swimmers – ensuring visitors can once again feel safe.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been working closely with Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, on the roll-out of a compliant shark control program inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as quickly as possible.

It is expected shark control equipment will be re-deployed from mid-February.

The increased surveillance of the drumlines will lead to additional operating costs associated with extra contractor time at sea, supply of acoustic tags for released sharks and acoustic tag monitors.  

The Commonwealth and Queensland State government are continuing constructive discussions about contributions to costs of the ongoing program and other non-lethal shark control measures.

The Commonwealth will also make available $1 million to assist in shark management for the Whitsundays community, which has been badly shaken by a number of recent shark attacks.

This urgent funding will help:

• continue research to improve our understanding of shark biology, ecology, population status and behavior in the Whitsundays

• trial technological advances in shark control measures such as near real-time alerts (eg through a sightings app) or drone surveillance in the Whitsundays, and

• install signage and ramp-up education.

The funding supports the delivery of the joint Australian-Queensland Government Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, relevant species management and recovery plans made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.

“Human safety is our overriding priority and Queensland’s reinstatement of the drumlines in the Marine Park and operating within the Tribunal’s conditions is an important step forward,” Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.  

“We’re delighted to provide funding to assist in Queensland’s transition to a modern, multipronged shark control program inside the Marine Park and in line with the Tribunal’s decision.”

Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner welcomed the funding and said restoring the program has been made possible after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) issued an amended permit that took into account workplace health and safety issues.  

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is currently supporting its shark contractors to develop standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of the contractors and workers,” Mr Furner said.

“Contractors will check drumlines regularly.

“Other shark species will be released at the site of their capture.  

“If it is unsafe for the contractor, or if there are any animal welfare concerns, sharks will be euthanised.”

Mr Furner said relocating and releasing sharks would reduce the immediate risk to swimmers at that location, but would not remove the risk entirely.  

“That’s why we are proposing to implement a range of other swimmer safety measures and continue our Shark Smart education program,” Mr Furner said.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner

 
Animals Wildlife or Pets Australian Government Environment Lifestyle Political Queensland Government Tourism Tourist Activities Tourist Destinations Water Sports and Marine Activities
Social:   

Mark Furner MP : Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries :
PO Box 15009, City East, 4002, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
07 3405 6930
Mark Furner MP : Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Biosecurity warning as African swine fever creeps closer 07 April 2020 | Biosecurity Queensland is accelerating critical preparedness activities following the detection of African swine fever in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. More information...
Extra time to lodge applications for drought assistance 02 April 2020 | Queensland primary producers will have extra time to lodge drought assistance claims and are being urged to apply electronically due to the impact of COVID-19 on claim processing times. More information...
New direction for licensed armourers and licensed dealers 31 March 2020 | Licensed armourers and licensed dealers will now be able to provide essential services to primary producers and other industries which rely on weapons to do their jobs. More information...
More funding to fight invasive pest species 20 March 2020 | Landholders, drought-declared local governments, industry bodies and natural resource management groups are invited to apply for another round of funding under the highly-successful Queensland Feral Pest Initia... More information...
More than 600 jobs created under rural development projects 19 March 2020 | These grants are going to allow for exciting new developments in strawberry, mango, watermelon and grain growing operations, poultry, macropod meat production, nursery and even aquaculture. More information...
Dumping evidence leads to big fine for recreational fisher 19 March 2020 | A recreational fisher who tried to throw away evidence of his illegal fishing activities has been fined $2,600. More information...
Queensland supports agricultural jobs with $30m loan scheme extension 18 March 2020 | The Queensland Government has approved a $30m extension to a crucial agricultural industry loans scheme. More information...
New grants for Queensland exporters hit by coronavirus 12 March 2020 | The Queensland Government has opened applications for a $500,000 industry grants package to support Queensland agribusiness exporters directly affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). More information...
New economic snapshot of Queensland primary industries goes online 02 March 2020 | The Palaszczuk Government has launched a powerful new interactive online tool that will enhance the marketing and expansion of Queensland’s agricultural sector. More information...
Government and industry united in tackling fall armyworm 27 February 2020 | Integrated pest management practices and regimes will be at the cornerstone of combined Queensland Government and agriculture industry efforts to combat the invasive pest, fall armyworm. More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service