Sharks are now at the total mercy of the WA Government
Humane Society International (HSI) has today questioned the reasoning behind the Federal Government’s deferral to the West Australian Government, after the Federal Environment Minister declared that the WA shark cull program should be assessed, but that the WA Government should undertake the assessment. Whilst HSI welcomes further consideration and assessment of the WA shark cull, we are calling for it to be undertaken by the Commonwealth, so that any conflicts of interest are avoided.
“This deferral of responsibilities is, sadly, a glimpse into the future as the Federal Government seeks to rid itself of environmental accountability and hand over powers to State Governments – a process that is fully underway,” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “At risk here are internationally threatened and federally protected species that the Environment Minister has now put at the mercy of an unsympathetic WA Government.”
“The WA Government is now the judge and jury of its own shark cull program and there can be no confidence that the outcomes of the review will give full consideration to the national situation, let alone the international one, in light of the WA Government’s narrow focus. This is a sad outcome for the sharks, and a slap in the face to all those in the community who have spoken out against the WA shark cull, and other shark culls on the East Coast” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
HSI has consistently opposed the handover of approval powers to State and Territory Governments, citing our concerns regarding conflicts of interest, and State and Territory environment laws that are nowhere near up to the job. This is a first and key example of what our most threatened places and wildlife can expect from September, the deadline the Federal Government has set for the handover of powers and establishment of ‘one-stop-shops’.