Premier's rogue shark nonsense is endangering Western Australians

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says documents justifying a Federal Government exemption that enabled protected great white sharks to be killed off Esperance this month raise doubts about the quality of information the WA Premier fed to the Federal Environment Minister.

"It seems that Premier Barnett's continuing 'rogue sharks' fantasy might have led to him to make dubious claims to the Federal Environment Minister," Ms MacLaren said.

"In his statement of reasons for granting the exemption, Minister Hunt notes that the WA Premier stated repeatedly in his application that the shark involved in biting a surfer remained in the area, meaning it should be killed.

"It appears that based on this advice , Minister Hunt allowed the exemption.

"Premier Barnett needs to explain how he can claim to know that the shark that bit Mr Pollard remained in the area, given great white sharks travel fast and disappear from sight quickly.

"This would be the first time it has been suggested that anyone was able to watch and keep sight on the specific shark or sharks involved in biting Mr Pollard; most accounts describe how Mr Pollard swam a considerable distance before his plight was noticed and he was rescued.

"At certain times of the year, great white sharks make inshore migrations along the south coast. Just because a shark is seen in a location soon after a bite occurred, it does not mean it was necessarily the one involved - others are also likely to be present if there is a food source such as schools of fish present.

"There is a grave public danger in Premier Barnett propagating this sort of rogue shark nonsense because it suggests to people that they are safe because a shark has been killed when in fact, they are no safer than they were before the bite incident or before that shark was killed."