Greens say local communities should decide on shark enclosures

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says it is disappointing that although shark culling has been abandoned, the State Government have turned towards nets that proved ineffective during a trial in Dunsborough earlier this year. Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says ‘the community deserves to choose the best option for safety at their beaches’.
 
Today she expressed concern that the Government has continued to ignore superior eco-shark barrier protection and other effective mitigation strategies in favour of ‘Gold Coast style’ nets with pylons, despite revelations today that the nets, claimed by the Government to be more cost effective, cost more over the long-term.

“The State Government has made an announcement today it is considering further deployments of the Dunsborough net-style enclosure which by all credible accounts, had serious flaws," said Ms MacLaren.
 
“Numerous eye-witnesses, photographs and an independent study by a marine biologist in February vouch for the fact that there were sizeable holes in the Dunsborough enclosure, big enough for an adult human to swim through. Trapped marine life such as rays and shovelnosed sharks were found inside the enclosure, having floated in over the top in large swells.

“The Cockburn Council evaluation of the eco-barrier at Coogee Beach found it to be effective in protecting swimmers, sustainable and cost effective, too. Yet the Premier continues to ignore this alternative.

“Several have questioned whether the evaluation of the Dunsborough net trial released today tells the whole story. The problems identified by people who swim there need to be fixed.

“Craig Moss – the inventor of the Eco Shark Barrier, has informed us that the barrier costs $220,000 to $250,000 (depending on the location),and can stay in the water year-around and lasts for 10 years. The maintenance cost on the barrier will not exceed $200,000 over the ten years. The barrier does not need to be taken out of the water for clean up, and minimum repair costs will apply."