Greens urge submissions on three year shark cull plan, PER opens today

After the senseless killing of more than 100 sharks in the Barnett Government’s expensive and ill-conceived drum line programme, finally the program is open to public scrutiny and comment, said Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren today.

Today’s release of the State Government’s shark drum line Public Environmental Review (PER) will give the community an opportunity to see in detail what Barnett has planned for dropping drum lines 1km off WA beaches for three more years, she said.

“The PER describes the proposal, examines the likely environmental effects and the proposed environmental management procedures, it is up to the public to make submissions on whether the proposal is viable in the state”.

“The Greens, along with many beach goers, marine scientists and conservationists alike, say that the drum lines are an overpriced, anti-conservation policy that conflicts with the values and beliefs of modern day Australians.

Western Australians – in huge numbers - have roundly opposed the meat curtain hanging off our coasts, I am sure this PER will further confirm opposition”.

“In the lead up the release of this document, State Government officials attended a shark conference in Durban and reported back the views of only a small minority of supporters of culling. Perhaps if these officials attended the conference with a more open mind, they would have noted overwhelming advice from scientists the world over who practice modern sustainable alternatives that don’t cull an apex predator”.

“My office will scrutinise the PER and publish information to assist anyone who wants to make a submission. Other conservation groups like Sea Shepherd and the Conservation Council of WA will also be making submissions.

"The EPA's assessment of Colin Barnett's shark cull gives people a critical opportunity through the public submission process to tell the Government why they do not want to see sharks killed off our beaches," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson.

"The WA Government's EPA is carrying out this assessment, but the final decision lies with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Minister Hunt failed in his responsibilities earlier this year when he exempted last summer's cull from environmental assessment, accepting the WA Government's flawed excuses.

"Minister Hunt has a responsibility to act in the best interests of the environment and protect listed species. He needs to undertake due diligence and pay close attention to the international evidence on non-lethal mitigation and recognise the harm already caused by WA's cull," Senator Siewert concluded.