Commentary by Mike Dicks

The Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenburg calls on the WA Labor Government to install drum lines and kill large sharks. He is supported by the West Australian newspaper who regularly push their own agenda on this issue and promote fear and scaremongering amongst their readers. The Coalition Government and the West are out of touch with the Australian people, out of touch with nature and out of touch with the future for our children and grandchildren.

Over 80% of the WA population do not want a shark cull. This was the finding of market research back in 2013 and the very latest polls this week show the numbers haven’t changed. When is this Government going to act democratically and listen to the majority of Australians who do not want more coal mines, do not want fracking, do not want destruction of habitat, do not want oil rigs in the Great Australian Bight and do not want water going from the Murray Darling river to their cronies.

People are demanding more renewable energy, greater protection of the Great Barrier Reef, more marine parks and policies that consider our commitment to reduce the effects of climate change and protect our planet. This is the future.

A drumline shark policy does not work, it has been trialed in Hawaii and other countries for many years with no change to fatalities. It provides an utterly false sense of security apart from attracting sharks close to our beaches to feed on baited hooks.

Scientists globally condemned the WA policy in 2014 and Sea Shepherd along with public pressure halted the three year trial but a minority and our federal Government are pushing the WA government to act. They are standing strong to their election principles and investing in mitigation and education and encouraging the public to take personal responsibility which is exactly how it should be.   We all manage our own risks every single day, travelling, working or in our leisure and it is not for our politicians to wrap us in cotton wool. The oceans belong to its creatures and we need a healthy ocean for our very survival. This is absolute fact as the ocean controls our climate, the air that we breathe and all life on this planet including our own.

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