Minister’s fears after drum lines removal

FISHERIES Minister Mark Furner says it is "imperative" that shark drum lines are reinstated amid fears of "flow on effects" limiting shark defences in the rest of Queensland.

It comes after a federal court's ruling to remove shark drum lines at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, rejecting the State Government's appeal earlier this week.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner has said it’s ‘imperative’ that shark drum lines are reinstated after the federal court’s ruling to remove them in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Picture: Stewart McLean
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner has said it’s ‘imperative’ that shark drum lines are reinstated after the federal court’s ruling to remove them in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Picture: Stewart McLean

"It is imperative that initiatives in terms of introducing federal legislation to make sure our drum lines going back into the waters occurs because it is a program that works and served Queensland well since 1962," Minister Furner said at Brisbane markets on Friday.

The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries said he is now seeking "urgent" action.

"I'm seeking urgent briefings from my department of the potential flow on effect as a result of what might occur of this decision going outside of the Great Barrief Reef Marine Park," he told The Courier-Mail.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley previously said Queensland can take measures to immediately protect swimmers after the drum lines removal.

Minister Furner slammed her comments saying "that is not the case."

"We have been handed down a cruel blow by the federal court that was a result of the Humane Society International's application to remove the drum lines from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

"By doing that it has not only put swimmers in danger, it has also put our staff and contractors that service those drum lines in danger by that decision..."

Minister Furner said he "encouraged" the federal minister to reinstall the drum lines over a teleconference on Thursday.

"That's why we have pressed the federal government to change the legislation to allow us to continue an operation that has been well established..." he said.

He now called for Queenslanders to take precautions by swimming in patrolled beaches and following the Smart Shark Initiative. swim safely in patrolled beaches.

"I encourage people to swim in safe conditions by swimming in patrolled beaches (...)

"Don't swim outside in the hours of dawn or dusk. Don't swim in dirty waters or with pets and animals. But also importantly make you swim in locations that are patrolled by our excellent surf life saving club of Queensland," he said.



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