Scarborough Beach stakeholders urge State Govt to release City Beach shark alert system trial results


Scarborough Beach Association chairman Wayne Bowen, pictured with Rip Curl Scarborough manager Mike Counsel, is calling on the State Government to release outcome a shark monitoring system trial.
Scarborough Beach Association chairman Wayne Bowen, pictured with Rip Curl Scarborough manager Mike Counsel, is calling on the State Government to release outcome a shark monitoring system trial.

UPDATE, May 23: Mr Kelly announced that the Ocean Guardian Surf+ personal shark deterrent would be added to the list of subsidised devices.

It came after he called on the New South Wales Government to “immediately release” the final report on the effectiveness of the device.

West Australians can access a $200 rebate for the device through registered retailers.

EARLIER:

SCARBOROUGH Beach stakeholders are urging the State Government to release results of last year’s shark alert system trial at City Beach.

Smart Marine Systems’ Clever Buoy marine monitoring system was installed at the beach over the 2016-17 summer as part of a $500,000 trial funded by the previous State Government.

The Scarborough Beach Association is considering using the system this year but chairman Wayne Bowen said they needed to know the outcome of the trial.

“Unfortunately, this report has not been released by the State Government, even though they have had it since December 2017,” he said.

“Until the report and its results are released, the benefits or appropriateness of this technology for our purpose cannot enter the public debate.

“This delay is unnecessary and time wasting, particularly if there is any chance or desire of having this or some other system in place for the coming spring months when beachgoers start to rebuild again.”

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly would not be drawn on when the report would be released.

“We’re still considering the findings of the Clever Buoy trial,” he said.

Mr Kelly and Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg have been trading barbs about how to reduce the risk of shark attacks, with the latter pushing for WA to adopt drum lines and nets like the east coast.

The New South Wales government recently offered to provide five of its SMART (Shark Management Alert in Real Time) drum lines to WA free, which was welcomed by Mr Frydenberg.

But Mr Kelly today released a statement calling on the NSW government to “immediately release” a Flinders University report about the effectives of a range of personal shark deterrent devices.

He said the draft report showed the Ocean Guardian (formerly SharkShield) Surf+ device significantly reduced the risk of shark interactions and if released without changes, could be added to the personal shark deterrent subsidy program.

“If the NSW Government releases this report today, WA surfers will be able to buy a university tested and proven surfboard shark deterrent this weekend,” he said.

“It is in the public interest that a surfboard shark deterrent that has been found to significantly reduce the risk of shark interactions, is made available to those most at risk as soon as possible.”

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