Government of Western Australia will not install protective and deterrent global measures like nets against dangerous sharks, Premier Mark McGowan stated. McGowan cited wrong typography and ineffectiveness as main reasons of his opposition to such solutions.
“I don’t think anyone really supports nets and I think you do need the right sort of coastal typography to make them work,” he said. “We saw with the drumline experiment put in place by (former premier Colin) Barnett that it didn’t work”.
According to McGowan the shark shields are “the most sensible solution”.
Critics challenged Mark McGowan’s claims.
Opposition accused WA Labor Premier for choosing the option favored by Green Party and ignoring the tourist decline due to the multiple shark attacks over last few years.
WA Liberal Whip Libby Metham mocked McGowan solution with her tweet: “Labor government say there is no link between shark attacks and tourism. They have their heads in the sand.”
In the survey by Hiresquare among the people who were planning to visit Australia ((China, UK, USA, NZ and Japan – a combined revenue of 20.4 billion dollar according to the TRA) concluded that 6.1% of the respondents do not want to come to Australia any more due to shark attacks. An additional 7.8% of the people says shark attacks significantly impact their decision whether to come to Australia or not. The Hiresquare analysts concluded that: “With 14% seriously reconsidering whether to go to Australia or not, this has a potential impact of 2.9 billion dollar revenue for the Australian tourism industry.”
The Australian reporter Fred Pawle wondered whether government policy is the reason of sudden wave of shark attacks since Commonwealth decided to protect the Great whites in 1999. “In 2001, Australia lobbied to have the species listed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and again successfully lobbied to have the CITES protection increased in 2004”, he wrote.
The Australian reporter reminded also that the solution that WA government offered were proved to be ineffective. “Shark Shields are not proven to work against sharks in attack mode. In one study, they were shown not to deter sharks from bait.”, Pawle said. Other tests suggested that shark developed an immunity to the effects of the magnetic field, the main mechanism of the deterrence. In South Australia two divers were killed while wearing the devices. Pawle quoted also opinion of Shark Shield CEO Lindsay Lyon, who told the public hearings of the Senate inquiry into shark mitigation strategies in McGowan’s own city of Perth last week that the devices don’t work with kids.