The Nationals WA Spokesperson for Fisheries Colin de Grussa has called out Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly for continuing to put community safety in jeopardy by allowing ongoing delays to the smart drum-line trial.
A 10 drum-line trial off the coast of Gracetown was expected to be deployed in early 2019, however is going to be delayed for months while the Government undertake an environmental assessment.
Mr de Grussa said that this was in complete contradiction to Minister Kelly’s promise to start the trial “as soon as possible”.
“The Minister was dragged kicking and screaming into even agreeing to a trial, and he appears to be doing everything he can to delay it,” Mr de Grussa said.
“We’re talking about people’s lives, and the reputation of our coastal communities.
“The Minister seems more focused on bowing to the environmentalist agenda, instead of protecting our ocean users and fixing the perception that it’s not safe to swim at WA’s beaches.”
Mr de Grussa and other representatives from The Nationals WA met with New South Wales Fisheries Minister last year, and heard first-hand how successful smart drum-lines have been across the NSW coast.
“The Nationals WA have been relentless in advocating for improved shark mitigation efforts in WA, and it’s bitterly disappointing that the McGowan Government don’t seem to put the same value on community safety,” Mr de Grussa.
“It’s become clear that Minister Kelly is incompetent in the Fisheries portfolio.
“He’s ripping the heart out of the rock lobster industry, and he’s playing fast and loose with people’s safety.
“When will Mark McGowan wake up and realise that Minister Kelly has to go?”