The Australian Greens have called on Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt to intervene in the WA Government's shark cull, saying he has a responsibility to protect the vulnerable great white shark.
"The WA Government has failed to refer its shark management program to the Federal Government for assessment under the EPBC Act. However, Minister Hunt can still determine that the Act has effect, as if a referral had been made. We are calling on him to do just that," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.
"The WA Government is ignoring the scientific evidence when it comes to their cruel shark cull. They've avoided any examination of their plan, which will see the indiscriminate killing of great white sharks and a of range of other marine species.
"Minister Hunt has the power to subject the WA shark cull to a proper assessment process under the EPBC Act, which can include a public inquiry, something that would be welcomed by people in WA and around the country.
"Importantly, the Minister can assess the cull even in the absence of a referral from the WA Government. The Minister can request that this action is referred to him, and if this fails to happen, he can make the decision that the EPBC Act should be applied as if a referral was made.
"Given that the State says they want the drum lines established by the end of this week, Minister Hunt needs to immediately determine the Act has effect and assess this proposal.
"Minister Hunt has a responsibility to examine plans that threaten the great white, which is listed under the Act as a vulnerable and migratory species.
"This cruel and unjustified plan needs to be subject to a high standard of scientific scrutiny, something the WA Government has avoided. The Federal Minister has an obligation to act, and he need to do so immediately," Senator Siewert concluded.