Dawson MP George Christensen has called for dangerous sharks to be hunted down.
Dawson MP George Christensen has called for dangerous sharks to be hunted down. Stuart Quinn

'Hunt down any dangerous sharks': MP calls for action

SHARK control drum lines will be deployed in the wake of two shark attacks in the Whitsundays, as a Federal politician calls for authorities to "hunt down any dangerous sharks".

Within two hours of a "second shark incident" at Cid Harbour off Whitsunday Island this afternoon, Fisheries Queensland announced they would be responding to the incident by installing the drum lines.

Early reports indicate a 12-year-old girl is in a critical condition after suffering a significant leg injury when she was bitten by a shark about 1.45pm today.

It's understood the attack occurred near the same spot Tasmanian tourist and snorkeller Justine Barwick, 46, was mauled on Wednesday evening. She remains in a critical condition this afternoon.

Fisheries Queensland said drum lines would be installed and a patrol vessel would be on site this afternoon to advise people to avoid swimming in the area.

"Fisheries Queensland has organised for the Queensland Shark Control Program contractor, based at Mackay, to deploy three shark control drum lines in the area tomorrow (Friday) morning," the spokesperson said.

"Fisheries is working with other agencies including the police and marine parks."


Shark drum lines are used by researchers.
Shark drum lines are used by researchers. DPI

Meanwhile, Member for Dawson George Christensen has urged swift action to remove dangerous sharks in Whitsunday waters following reports of the second attack.

"State authorities need to urgently hunt down any dangerous sharks found in waters near Cid Harbour and surrounding areas in the Whitsundays," Mr Christensen said.

"Apart from the danger posed to swimmers and yachties, a failure to act quickly will impact on tourism and local jobs.

"I would ask the Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner and Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch to take note, if they haven't taken action already."

Mr Christensen added the thoughts and prayers of Mackay and Whitsunday residents were with both shark attack victims and their families.

The Queensland Government's Shark Control Program operates at 85 of Queensland's most popular beaches, the Fisheries spokesperson said, but no specific mention was made regarding Whitsunday beaches.

The program started in 1962 after two fatal shark attacks off beaches in Queensland, one of which was Lamberts Beach, in Mackay.

Since that time, only one shark fatality has been reported at a shark controlled beach in the state.

It was noted shark control equipment "does not provide an impenetrable barrier between swimmers and sharks", but is effective in reducing overall shark numbers.

Shark nets and drum lines are strategically placed, mostly near popular patrolled swimming areas, to reduce the possibility of attacks.


NSW Premier Mike Baird journeyed out onto the ocean to witness the new drum line be deployed along the Ballina coast line. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Drum lines will be installed in the area where the shark attacks have occurred. Marc Stapelberg

Fisheries Queensland outlined its tips for swimmers in the state.

  • Swim or surf only at patrolled beaches and between the flags
  • Obey lifesavers' and lifeguards' advice, and heed all sign and safety warnings
  • Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted
  • Do not swim or surf after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks are most active
  • Do not swim or surf in murky waters
  • Do not swim in or near mouths of estuaries, artificial canals and lakes
  • Never swim alone
  • Never swim when bleeding
  • Do not swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned
  • Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment
  • Do not swim with animals