Walt Secord rejects Tony Abbott's call for shark cull
NSW Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord has fired back after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for a shark cull on the North Coast.
Mr Abbott told Radio 3AW yesterday: "I don't know why we don't have a commercial shark fishery up there because, frankly, if it's a choice between people and animals, I'm on the side of the people every time."
Mr Abbott said there was a double standard across the NSW coastline.
"I'm lucky to surf at Sydney beaches and beaches in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong since the 1940s have been protected by mesh; now if it's good enough for Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, for the life of me, I don't know why it's not good enough for the north coast of NSW."
However, Mr Secord said that while the safety of swimmers and surfers must always come first, it is the responsibility of the State Government to find ways to protect the community.
"Some North Coast locals have likened swimming and surfing at dusk and dawn like dancing on a shark's dinner plate - so it is unfair to undertake a wholesale slaughter of sharks," he said.
"Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has forgotten that swimming and surfing in areas of high shark populations has some inherent risk.
"Monday's shark attack should serve as a wakeup call to the Baird Government.
"Mr Abbott's call to undertake a shark cull is a bridge too far."