Australia

Qld govt stands by shark cull decision

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The Queensland government is standing by its decision to kill six sharks in response to two attacks on swimmers last week.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended killing six sharks in response to two attacks in the Whitsundays as necessary in part to fend off criticism of doing nothing.

Five tiger sharks and a small black tip shark have been killed in Cid Harbour by Fisheries Queensland since Justine Barwick, 46, and Hannah Papps, 12, received life-threatening bites in separate attacks last week.

"Can you imagine the public outcry if anything else happened up there in that particular region during school holidays if the Department of Fisheries took no action?" Ms Palaszczuk said in response to questions about public outcry over the shark kills on Monday.

She said she is comfortable with the action taken, which the opposition Liberal National Party also agrees was the right move.

A spokeswoman for Ms Palaszczuk told AAP that contrary to media reports, the government was not considering an alert system, but people are being warned against swimming at Cid Harbour

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner insists shark nets and baited hooks first installed at Queensland beaches in 1962 have "undoubtedly" saved lives.

He did not directly address questions about why they were killing sharks in Cid Harbour despite admitting they will never know if they caused the injuries.

"We're not culling sharks, we're protecting the public," he said.

Humane Society International and Sea Shepherd Australia say baiting and killing sharks gives people a false sense of security.

"Baited drum lines targeting sharks in the area will do nothing to prevent further accidents," Sea Shepherd's Jonathan Clark said on Sunday.

"Stop the nonsense about speaking of 'effectiveness' only in terms of their ability to kill sharks.

"That bit is easy and it's lazy policy. Making beaches actually safer is much harder and unrelated to their ability to kill sharks."

The victims in last week's attacks, which happened less than 24 hours apart, are recovering in Brisbane hospitals.

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