The Western Australian Liberal government’s controversial shark cull program has been scrapped amidst mass opposition. The state’s Environmental Protection Authority has advised against extending the government’s catch and kill policy. This has given the Barnett government a convenient out.
By Socialist Party reporters
In January the government introduced a trial where baited drum lines were set off around Perth and the south west coast. The trial cost the government $1.3 million with 68 sharks being caught and shot.
While the government claimed the drum lines were in response to an increase in the number of fatal great white shark attacks, none of the 68 sharks caught were actually great whites. In truth this policy was a kneejerk reaction aimed at diverting people’s attention away from the other issues that WA is facing.
Thousands of people protested against the policy making it one of the biggest campaigns against the government this year. Opinion polls regularly showed up to 80% of people opposed to culling. This reversal in government policy is a victory for people power and shows that when people mobilise and organise en masse change can be won. Congratulations to all those involved!