December 13, 2017
Only one person is politicising the shark debate
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly must immediately outline what the Government’s plans are to protect all beachgoers, rather than play politics with this sensitive issue.
Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Ian Blayney said it was ironic Mr Kelly’s main response to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee report on shark mitigation and deterrent measures was political grandstanding about the Opposition.
“I think Western Australians are tired of the political rhetoric,” Mr Blayney said.
“They want to know they can go to the beach in the knowledge the State Government is doing everything possible to protect them.
“Mr Kelly needs to explain what measures are available to those people who cannot afford, can’t use or don’t want a personal shark deterrent.
“Hundreds of thousands of Western Australians and tourists will be going to beaches around our state and the Government’s major policy is to provide a rebate to 2,000 people who surf or scuba dive.
“A detailed Senate report was released yesterday and rather than offer a considered response, Mr Kelly could only politicise the issue by calling on the Opposition to support his Government.
“The fact is, his Government is woefully inadequate.
“The McGowan Government cut $1 million of shark mitigation funding in the last budget. The budget papers show shark hazard mitigation funding of $250,000 a year over the next four years has been removed.
“The Government’s main initiative, to subsidise expensive devices that are known to be less than 100 per cent effective, is insufficient.
“Western Australians require a comprehensive shark mitigation policy and the best the Minister can offer is cheap political barbs. He needs to go back to the drawing board.”
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