$17.3m boost for WA shark hazard mitigation including helicopter patrols, jet ski response team

Cottesloe Beach Eco Shark Barrier
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The 2024-25 State Budget announcements continue rolling out of WA Premier Roger Cook’s office, with news of a $17.3 million boost to the government’s Shark Hazard Mitigation strategy.

Fisheries Minister Don Punch announced it today, with $12.6 million to continue helicopter patrols and frontline safety services over the next fours years.

“The Surf Life Saving WA helicopter patrols are an essential element of our world-class Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy,” said Mr Punch.

“The Labor Government was the first to give this initiative certainty with long-term funding and I am delighted to announce we are continuing that commitment over the next four years.”

The boost includes an additional $4.7 million going towards the strategy, which includes Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signage, beach enclosures, and a bull shark research program in the Swan-Canning and other South West estuaries.

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Further investment will be put towards the Sharksmart WA app and the $200 rebate for personal shark deterrents, which has been used by almost 9,500 people across WA so far.

The aerial patrols run from Yanchep to Mandurah and out to Rottnest Island, while they also run from Bunbury to Hamelin Bay in the south west until the end of April, before resuming in November.

“The community is also playing its part, embracing the benefits of our SharkSmart WA app and recognising the safety advantages of swimming at patrolled beaches or areas with beach enclosures, including the new Bicton Baths enclosure in the City of Melville,” added Mr Punch.

“And remember if you see a shark, please report the sighting to Water Police on 9442 8600 with the BEN sign number for the exact location details and you’ll be doing your bit to keep other beachgoers safe.”

As part of the strategy, local councils can also apply to have the government pay to install a shark net at a beach of their choosing, though must prove they need one and then pay for on-going maintenance costs.