Costigan wants drum lines back
"HUMAN life comes first.”
That is the hard line of Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan, who believes the Queensland Government needs to put drum lines back into the water here after Monday's fatal shark attack.
Mr Costigan was mad the drum lines were removed from Cid Harbour only about a week after the September attacks that saw Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick and Victorian Hannah Papps, 12, bitten by sharks on consecutive days.
Monday's attack saw a 33-year-old Victorian man mauled by a shark in the same area.
"Sharks are important for the ecosystem... but human life comes first every day of the week,” Mr Costigan said.
"Nothing can be done to bring back this man.
"They (the drum lines) were in for a matter of days last time.
"I'm not saying that it would have saved this man's life but we'll never know.”
Mr Costigan again called for the Whitsundays to be included in the shark control program which includes areas between Ellis Beach, north of Cairns, to the Gold Coast.
"How many more people have to die before we have some action?” he said.
"I'm putting the blow torch on the government... for good reason.”
While he said people needed to take responsibility for entering the water, people were not using common sense.
It is for this reason he believes the government needed to step in and provide some protection.
"We need to change people's behaviour,” he said.
"The State Government should be taking the lead.”
Mr Costigan would like to see shark control program measures introduced at Airlie Beach, Whitehaven and Cannonvale Beach.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Kate Jones said advice telling people not to swim in Cid Harbour would be fast tracked following conversations with Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and the local tourism industry.
"The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will install temporary signs by the weekend with permanent signs to be installed within the next few weeks,” she said.
"Local charter operators have already been active in telling anyone hiring a boat that no one should swim in Cid Harbour.
"Neither the local mayor, Andrew Willcox, marine authorities nor local tourism operators want to see drumlines redeployed.
"They want re-enforced messaging and that's what we are doing. Water police are on the harbour re-enforcing that message again today.
"As well as new signs we will also work on other ways of getting the message to tourists and boaties.”
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said no one should swim in Cid Harbour at any time.
"We can't be clearer - don't swim in Cid Harbour,” he said.
"Drum lines or not, no one should swim in Cid Harbour.
"As local charter operators have advised, Cid Harbour is primarily a site for mooring.
"The disposal of food scraps can attract sharks and that means no one should swim in Cid Harbour under any circumstances.”