The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to look beyond the WA Premier's review of the state's shark cull as they deliberate on the application to extend the policy.
"Today we've seen the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet table a fundamentally bias review of their shark cull that does nothing to further this debate or aide the Federal Environment Minister's decision as to whether or not to approve a three year extension," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.
"The final decision on this cull remains with the Federal Government, following the completion of the EPA's Assessment. This process is not helped by the inadequate provision of information we're seeing from the Premier's office. All we've learnt is that this cull was expensive, ineffective and damaging.
"It is clear from the Public Environmental Review (PER), which is currently open for public comment, that the environmental impact of this cull will be significant if it is extended for three years, with the Premier set to sacrifice 900 tiger sharks with the hope of catching 25 great whites.
"This year we saw a large number of undersized sharks caught on the drum lines despite the WA Government's assurances this would not occur. Over three years, that toll will be significant, and we know that many of those sharks that are caught on lines and then released will die from their injuries.
"The PER greatly overstates great white numbers and ignores the evidence we have about their migratory behaviours. There is inadequate assessment given to other, non-lethal mitigation measures, environmentally friendly shark barriers, personal safety devices or the shark spotters from South Australia.
"By any standard, this is a substandard policy and a substandard PER. It will not protect people or the environment. The cull program gives people a false sense of security.
"This cull is not supported by Western Australians, and Minister Hunt needs to reject it's extension," Senator Siewert concluded.