EYES IN SKY: Tourism CEO wants daily aerial surveillance
DAILY aerial surveillance has been requested as a way to combat what lurks in the water but the effectiveness of the plan has been thrown into doubt.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler addressed media today in the wake of Tuesday's shark attacks, and said she would be asking both the Federal and State Governments to contribute funding for immediate, daily aerial surveillance at popular snorkelling spots in the region.
"Our board will be requesting an immediate working group be formed to get some more detail out of the research reports,” she said.
Mrs Wheeler said the Federal and Queensland Government would need to work together to find a solution that would benefit not just visitors but also the region's tourism industry as a whole.
"At this point in time we would request a daily, aerial surveillance as an interim measure, while further research and reports are undertaken, and actions are taken,” she said.
Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Mark Furner said he would be 'happy' to look at any formal proposal from Tourism Whitsundays.
However, Mr Furner said it was important to recognise that aerial surveillance could only provide a point-in-time observation.
He calls on the Federal Government to amend federal laws, to allow Queensland's catch-and-remove-program to continue.
Mrs Wheeler said her priority remained on the visitors 'this beautiful region'.
"We've got hero experiences and a destination that is frequented, so visitor safety is our number one priority,” she said.
"We hope that with the Whitsundays being the iconic destination that it is, that the visitors will continue to enjoy our destination.”
Mrs Wheeler said the Whitsundays was and always had been an adventure playground.
"Wherever you are, you need to take precautions,” she said.