Drum­lines not on the agenda

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - PA­TRICK BILLINGS JILL POULSEN

P E RMANENT d r u ml i n e s would not be per­mit­ted in the Whit­sun­days to pre­vent shark at­tacks, the State Govern­ment says.

A cri­sis sum­mit held yes­ter­day in re­sponse to three at­tacks at Cid Har­bour since Septem­ber re­sulted in a five­point plan, but de­spite calls for drum­lines by char­ter boat com­pa­nies, Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones said the mea­sures wouldn’t fly.

“They were told quite clearly from the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park Au­thor­ity that it would not ap­prove the use of drum­lines or shark nets in this re­gion,” she said yes­ter­day.

Mel­bourne doc­tor Daniel Chris­tidis died on Mon­day off Whit­sun­day Is­land, fol­low­ing two at­tacks in Septem­ber on Tas­ma­nian woman Justine Bar­wick, who has had to learn to walk again, and 12- year- old Han­nah Papps, who lost a leg.

Shark nets or drum­lines are al­ready used in 86 lo­ca­tions along the Queens­land coast. > Give $ 250,000 to­wards sci­en­tific re­search into shark preva­lence and be­hav­iour in Cid Har­bour > Main­tain Cid Har­bour as a no- swim zone un­til that re­search is com­plete > It has al­ready started an ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign to ed­u­cate lo­cals and visi­tors about shark safety > De­velop a broader SharkWISE ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign, sim­i­lar to the CrocWISE cam­paign in North Queens­land. > Con­tinue to meet with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and ex­perts to de­velop and progress re­sponses

Fish­eries Min­is­ter Mark Furner said those were based closer to the shore at lifesaver- pa­trolled lo­ca­tions.

“Cid Har­bour is a fair dis­tance from the main­land and that’s one of the rea­sons why it wouldn’t work,” he said.

Drum­lines in Cid Har­bour af­ter the first two at­tacks were only ap­proved on a tem­po­rary ba­sis, he said. Those lines trapped six sharks in a week.

Bond Univer­sity head of grad­u­ate re­search Dr Daryl McPhee said there was no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that drum­lines “un­equiv­o­cally work”.

The five- point plan re­leased af­ter yes­ter­day’s talks in­cludes a ban on swim­ming in Cid Har­bour, which will re­main in force un­til re­search is com­pleted into shark be­hav­iour in the area.

The State Govern­ment has al­lo­cated $ 250,000 to the re­search and Ms Jones called on her fed­eral col­leagues to match it. Stake­hold­ers at yes­ter­day’s meet­ing will gather again later this year to ex­am­ine progress.

Mean­while the med­i­cal team that treated the shark at­tack vic­tims have spo­ken out about the chal­lenges they faced.

Anaesthetist Dr Marcelo Kanczuk said he had been plagued by bad dreams about the ra­zor- toothed ocean preda­tors.

“A few of us had night- mares of be­ing at­tacked by a shark,” he said. “We had some dis­tress. That’s the rea­son why we do a de­brief­ing, so we could say what ev­ery­one felt and if we needed ex­tra sup­port. It was a very stress­ful sit­u­a­tion.”

Dr Kanczuk did not want to say which of the three shark at­tack vic­tims he worked on in or­der to pre­serve the pa­tient’s pri­vacy.

Dr Kanczuk has worked in 10 hospi­tals all over the world and said the treat­ment all three pa­tients re­ceived at Mackay Base Hos­pi­tal was sec­ond to none.

Hos­pi­tal in­ten­sive care unit head Dr Stu­art Baker said the ICU team was tasked with mon­i­tor­ing blood loss.

“Los­ing a lot of blood pre­dis­poses peo­ple to be­ing very sick and hav­ing a pro­longed stay in hos­pi­tal, so if we can min­imise the amount of blood lost we can help keep them alive and keep them alive in a bet­ter state that they would oth­er­wise be.”

He said one of the most chal­leng­ing as­pects of deal­ing with a com­plex trauma case was man­ag­ing the pa­tients’ fam­i­lies.

FIVE- POINT PLAN: Min­is­ters Mark Furner ( left) and Kate Jones speak af­ter the cri­sis sum­mit held yes­ter­day.

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