Government continues shark survey cover-up in WA Parliament

Green MLC Lynn MacLaren, who will join Sea Shepherd today at Parliament at 12:30 for a media conference, says not only did the WA Government hide key data from the Federal Government over its drum line strategy it has also continued to cover up in the WA Parliament.

“I have been asking questions in Parliament about the Government’s 2013 $53,000 community perceptions survey on sharks since May, and more recently about the total $1 million Marketforce contract, begun in 2012 as a four-year program,” Ms MacLaren said.

“On 20 August, I asked why the survey results are not mentioned in the Government’s Public Environmental Review (PER) document that sets out to justify the Government’s plan to continue drum lining for the next three years.

“The PER document is being assessed by the WA Environmental Protection Authority, with its recommendation expected shortly.

“The answer from the Government implied the survey had been included in the PER document. “That is simply untrue.

“We are well past time deserving greater honesty and transparency from the Government on sharks.

“I have also asked for other existing documents relating to the Marketforce contract to be tabled in Parliament, such as the Communications Plan that one might expect to have been based on the results of the community perceptions survey.

“It is disappointing that Premier Barnett continues to try to defend and prolong drum lining which is a lemon of a Government policy and significantly at odds with the approach to shark hazard management begun in 2011 under former Fisheries Minister Norman Moore.

“It’s one thing to respond to tragedy to improve safety, but evidence shows killing sharks by drumlining is not an effective strategy. The survey proves Western Australians understand this. It is time the Premier did.”

Note to editors: Community Perceptions Survey report available on request.

Lynn's questions about the Community Perceptions Survey in the Legislative Council on 7 May

And on 20 August