Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA

Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA

Former Premier; Minister for Tourism; Science

Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Former Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs

    Shark mitigation to protect beachgoers

    27/09/2012 12:00 AM
    • $6.85m over four years for shark mitigation, education and research
    • New service to track, catch and retrieve sharks posing an imminent threat
    Premier Colin Barnett and Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced a $6.85million package of new shark mitigation strategies aimed at reducing the risk of shark attacks against Western Australian beachgoers.

    Mr Barnett said the new measures were the result of extensive consultation and research and followed an unprecedented five fatal shark attacks within 12 months.

    The measures include:
    • $2million for a new service to allow the Department of Fisheries to track, catch and, if necessary, destroy sharks identified in close proximity to beachgoers, including setting drum lines if a danger is posed
    • $200,000 for a feasibility study and trial of a shark enclosure in conjunction with local government
    • $2million to continue shark tagging programs, including the use of real-time GPS tracking systems
    • $2million over four years for an applied research fund, overseen by the Chief Scientist
    • $500,000 for Surf Lifesaving WA to purchase jet skis to bolster beach safety
    • $150,000 for additional community awareness programs, including a smartphone app.
    The new funding is on top of the $13.65million shark mitigation package announced by the State Government last year.

    “These new measures will not only help us to understand the behaviour of sharks but also offer beachgoers greater protection and confidence as we head into summer,” the Premier said.

    Mr Moore said the State Government had reviewed the circumstances under which an order may be given to take a white shark posing an imminent threat.

    “Previously the orders were used in response to an attack, but now proactive action will be taken if a large white shark presents imminent threat to people,” Mr Moore said.

    The announcement comes as Surf Lifesaving WA’s upgraded helicopter returns to the skies for weekend beach patrols. It will fly daily from September 29 until April 30 next year.

    The State Government has committed $2.4million a year over the next four years towards Surf Lifesaving WA’s helicopter and beach patrols program. There will be patrols over metropolitan beaches for 221 days of the year, and daily flights by the South-West beach safety helicopter from November 19 to February 3.

          Fact File
    Premier’s office - 6552 5200
    Fisheries Minister’s office - 6552 5400