Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
The Honourable Leanne Donaldson
19. February 2016
Minister reiterates support for shark control program
Queensland Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson has re-iterated the Palaszczuk Government’s support for the State’s successful shark control program at a meeting with a protester who wants shark nets and drumlines removed.
“We have a duty to protect swimmers at our most popular beaches and I will not compromise on human safety,” the Minister said.
“Prior to the introduction of nets and drum lines there were 20 fatal shark attacks at beaches now protected by the program.
“Successive governments have recognised the vital role the shark control program has played in protecting human life at those beaches which attract tourists from all over the world and throughout the year.
“Indeed since 1962, despite a big increase in the number of people swimming at those beaches, there has been only one fatality.”
Minister Donaldson met Nicole McLachlan who staged a hunger strike with the aim of forcing the government to abandon the program.
Ms McLachlan agreed to end her hunger strike and seek medical attention after a telephone conversation with Minister Donaldson on Monday evening.
Throughout the nine day protest the Minister insisted she would not concede to demands to invest $16 million a year into researching non-lethal shark control and to remove shark nets and drumlines.
“Today I listened to what she had to say, but I will not be swayed by publicity stunts,” the Minister said.
“I also made it clear, once again, that such extreme protests are not the way to secure a meeting with a Minister or influence government policy.
“I am always happy to talk to people about the shark control program and effective ways to protect swimmers.
“The government will continue to look at advances in technology and improvements to the program to protect marine life, but they must be thoroughly tested to ensure they keep people safe.
“I told her the Queensland and New South Wales fisheries agencies work closely and that arrangements are in place for Queensland to access the outcomes of the various trials currently being undertaken in NSW.”
Source: Queensland Government