Shark Season Nears with Insufficient Protection Offered by WA Labor

Nov 18, 2021 | David Honey MLA, State News

Dr David Honey has called on WA Labor to address shark issues on Western Australian beaches,
following the tragic death of Paul Millachip at Port Beach on November 6th.

“There clearly are gaps under Labor’s shark mitigation strategy,” said Liberal Leader and Cottesloe
MP Dr David Honey.

“There have now been multiple shark sightings in the same area since the untimely death of Paul
Millachip on the 6th of November.

“While the government’s recent investments in shark mitigation systems and infrastructure have
been an encouraging step forward, this tragic attack has brought to attention the deficiency in our
shark protection system.”

“The McGowan-Cook Government ended the smart drum-line trial but have not explained what their
new approach is to protect Western Australians this summer.”

Dr Honey said now that shark season is approaching for another year, the Labor Government must
show proper leadership and devise new strategies to lessen the risk to the public.

“They still fail to address the issue of untagged sharks in our waters, and the lack of shark
enclosures on WA beaches. There are only three across the metro region alone.

“Likewise, swimmers are not well protected enough by the shark shield device.

“The 25 satellite-linked VR4G receivers that comprise the shark mitigation network allow near-realtime
monitoring of tagged sharks on our state’s beaches, allowing the Department of Primary
Industries and Regional Development to issue public warnings that minimise the risk of humanshark

“However, in the case of the attack on Mr Millachip, due to the limited range of these receivers,
sadly, Port Beach was uncovered by the shark mitigation network at the time of the attack.

Dr Honey said WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch owes the people of Western Australia they don’t
have to fear going to the beach, as current measures are not widespread enough to cover the coast.

“Helicopter patrols cannot be at every beach all the time, the morning of Mr Millachip’s death, the
rescue helicopter was 80 kilometres away, patrolling another beach.

“Fisheries Minister Don Punch needs to show more than sorrow and sympathy, he needs to explain
how he is going to protect ocean goers given the increasing number of dangerous sharks in waters
of Western Australia.

“WA has been fortunate warmer weather hasn’t come sooner as Mr Punch has been too busy
dragging his feet in disgrace rather than acting to prepare a defence against shark attacks.”