ELECTION WEEKEND: Can Federal Parties stop shark culling?
Our No Shark Cull Campaign is fighting shark culling programs run by state governments in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD). However, there are ways (legislative and other ways) that the Federal Government could fix this issue.
This Saturday, 21 May 2022, is the Federal Election. Your vote will influence which political party wins this week’s Federal Election, which means your vote could impact the issue of shark culling in Australia.
For those wondering if and how the issue of shark culling intersects with Federal politics, below is some information that might help.
Liberal National Party
The current Liberal National Party (LNP) Government has still, to this day, not responded to the 2017 Senate Inquiry into the efficacy and regulation of shark mitigation and deterrent measures. The Inquiry recommended that lethal shark culling (shark nets and lethal drumlines) be phased out, among other recommendations. Sussan Ley, the Federal Minister for the Environment, has also refused to hold the Queensland Government accountable for their breach of Section 43B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
LNP runs the NSW shark cull, and while their stance on shark nets is softening, there is no end date for removing the nets. Furthermore, they have made no Federal Election commitments on the issue of shark bite mitigation, as far as we are aware.
Australian Labor Party
We have had a positive dialogue with the Labor Party on this issue, specifically Terri Butler, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water. Still, no Federal Election commitments have been made on this issue by the Labor Party. QLD Labor runs the Queensland cull, which it staunchly and aggressively defends.
The Australian Greens
The Greens have pledged $50 million to help states modernise their programs. The Greens have some true advocates for the environment and the ocean. A special mention must go to Senator Pete Whish-Wilson, from the Tasmanian Greens, also known as Australia’s surfing Senator. Senator Whish-Wilson has long been an advocate on this issue, chaired the 2017 Senate Inquiry, and we thank him for his hard work. Michael Berkman, the Greens’ spokesperson for environment issues in QLD, has also been a considerable ally on this issue at the state level.