- Liberals' fisheries spokesperson supports McGowan Government's world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy
- Ian Blayney also rejects his colleagues call for a cull
- Mr Blayney contradicts his Liberal colleagues' claims that shark numbers off WA coast have increased following a CSIRO interim report
The Western Australian Liberal Party now supports key elements of the McGowan Government's multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy.
In an ABC radio interview yesterday, Liberal fisheries spokesperson Ian Blayney gave his support for the McGowan Government's successful world-first shark deterrent subsidy, of which more than 1,200 Western Australians have taken part.
His support contradicts previous criticisms made by Liberal members Mike Nahan, Liza Harvey and Libby Mettam. Last year, Ms Mettam called for the program to be scrapped and likened the approved subsidy device to 'waving a burglar off with a toothpick'. Ms Mettam's claim contradicts university research funded under the previous Liberal National Government that found the device deterred white sharks in nine out of 10 occasions.
Mr Blayney also rejected calls for a shark cull in WA from his Federal Liberal colleagues, such as Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Andrew Hastie. Yesterday, Mr Blayney said on 6PR and ABC radio that he did not think a cull was the answer. The previous government attempted a cull and not one white shark was caught, a policy that the former Premier Colin Barnett recently reflected on as a failure.
Mr Blayney also poured cold water on claims by Liberal colleagues that a recent CSIRO report proved white shark numbers had increased in WA. Western Australian Liberals Libby Mettam and Senator Linda Reynolds claimed the report showed there was an increase in WA shark numbers, a claim unsubstantiated by scientific evidence and rejected by Mr Blayney.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"I'm pleased that Mr Blayney has given his support to key elements of the McGowan Government's multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy.
"In particular, Mr Blayney's support for our subsidy scheme for independently tested personal shark deterrents.
"I'm also pleased he has finally rejected calls for a shark cull.
"For months the Liberals both locally and federally have been rubbishing Labor's strategy and misleading the public with incorrect information.
"Shark mitigation is a serious issue that requires policies driven by science and research.
"The Western Australian community expects politicians to work constructively together on such a challenging matter."
Minister's office - 6552 6100