The Opposition wanted a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s shark control program.
The Opposition wanted a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s shark control program.

Shark debate fires up in parliament

TEMPERS have flared in State Parliament as the Government voted down a push from the LNP for a parliamentary inquiry into the state's shark control program.

The Opposition moved the motion in the wake of the three shark attacks at Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays, including the fatal attack on 33-year-old doctor Daniel Christidis.

Their motion called for a Parliamentary Committee to consider the effectiveness of the existing shark control program and the "failure" of the Government to use drumlines at Cid Harbour following the most recent attack.

 

The Opposition wanted a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s shark control program. Pictured above is a Shark caught on a drumline in Cid Harbour in September.
The Opposition wanted a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s shark control program. Pictured above is a Shark caught on a drumline in Cid Harbour in September.

It also called for the inquiry to consider if the program should be expanded to other "key tourism areas" and the impact that shark attacks have on the tourism industry.

During the debate, LNP MPs lined up to make renewed calls for the deployment of drumlines in the harbour despite the government refusing to do so last week citing scientific advice.

The Government met with industry leaders and scientists last week, where they developed a five-point plan to tackle the region's shark problem.

It included $250,000 being directed toward scientific research into shark prevalence at the harbour, as well as imposing a no-swim zone in the area.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington rubbished the Government's shark summit as a "talkfest", insisting the government needed to put people before sharks.

"If that were your son, your brother, your sister or your friend who had died, I don't think you'd think that was an adequate response from this government," she told State Parliament.

"The Palaszczuk Government are so arrogant, so out of touch that the Premier is backing shark welfare over community safety."

Ms Frecklington said scientific research wasn't needed to work out that the harbour had a shark problem.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones defended the Government's position, saying tourism leaders wanted scientific research.

"They do not want knee-jerk reactions," she said.

 

All three attacks happened at Cid Harbour, in the Whitsundays. Picture: Daryl Wright
All three attacks happened at Cid Harbour, in the Whitsundays. Picture: Daryl Wright

 

"If you put (drumlines) in there, you can still not guarantee to a tourist that it is safe to swim there.

"It would be irresponsible in a most terrible way to put drumlines in there and then say to tourists that it is safe."

Katter's Australian Party joined the opposition in voting in favour of the motion, while Greens MP Michael Berkman voted against it.



Boy, 15, sentenced over One Mile school fire

premium_icon Boy, 15, sentenced over One Mile school fire

'If you were 18 ... when you did this, you would be going to jail.'

Gympie MP confronted by eerie scene of NQ floods

premium_icon Gympie MP confronted by eerie scene of NQ floods

The MP called the scene 'confronting.'