The WA Government will invest $12.7 million over the next two years towards its comprehensive shark hazard mitigation strategy to continue to help keep water users safe at iconic Western Australian beaches.
The WA Government’s 2019-20 State Budget, set to be handed down on May 9 2019, includes an additional $8 million on top of the $4.7 million already funded for shark hazard mitigation initiatives.
The funding boost will see Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) helicopter, drone, beach and jet ski patrols continue at metropolitan beaches and popular South-West beaches from September to April each year for the next two years.
The extra funding will also go towards other shark hazard mitigation initiatives including WA’s world-leading Shark Monitoring Network (SMN) and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development tagging operations.
Since 2017-18, the WA Government has committed more than $28.6 million in helping keep Western Australians and visitors safe at the beach.
The WA Government’s comprehensive shark hazard mitigation strategy includes:
- A world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy for divers and surfers who purchase approved, scientifically proven devices. Almost 3,500 Western Australians have now purchased a device through this program;
- A $3.84 million scientific trial of non-lethal SMART drumline technology off Gracetown;
- Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signs to help streamline emergency responses to beach incidents;
- SLSWA helicopter, drone, beach and jet ski patrols to keep a watchful eye over water users;
- A partnership with Surfing WA to deliver free first aid to surfers and increase drone and jet ski surveillance for WA surf events;
- Beach enclosures;
- An extended Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance and the Capes region;
- An Independent Scientific Advisory Panel on Sharks to provide expert advice to the State Government on new mitigation technologies and research on white sharks; and
- Improved information for water users with a refreshed Sharksmart website and the development of a new SharkSmart app.
Source: WA Government