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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 400. Updated Tuesday, 11 March 2014

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Shark strategy needs to be reassessed

The Federal Government is demanding that the Western Australian Government undertake a full environmental assessment of its Shark Mitigation Strategy.

Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said the Western Australian Government had been told it can't extend the scheme beyond April 30 without a full assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The demand was made when it requested an extension to its current operation.

Extension bid condition

"Western Australia will need to refer the program for assessment under national environment law," Mr Hunt said.

"We will work cooperatively with the Western Australian Government through this process.

"I recognise the importance of human safety, as was the case for the original exemption to allow limited actions to protect swimmers following the recent increase in shark attacks, in two small areas of an over 12,500 kilometre coastline," Mr Hunt said.

He said the issue had highlighted the need for further research into the shark population off the Australian coast.

"To support this, the Federal Government is committing $379,000 for research into the white shark population,'' he said.

"It will aim to locate juvenile and nursery aggregation areas to enable genetic and electronic tagging to build a greater profile of the population and trends."

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