Monday, September 3, 2012

Wildlife Bytes Australia 4/9/12

Kangaroo Meat

Three years after Russia banned kangaroo meat after finding high levels of bacterial contamination, animal rights groups say there are still problems with hygiene in supermarket meat.
Read more, watch video  ..

We have to say this is the first time we've been able to get a decent kangaroo story on TV. Generally the mainstream media wont have a bar of truthful stories about kangaroos, and the kangaroo Industry. The mainstream media, sometimes called "old media", all want to push the pest line....that kangaroos are destroying the livelhood of poor, honest, hardworking,  Australian farmers. We've put the story up on the kangaroo protection website, with other contamination information, and with links to the video footage, at 

Did you know that only one kangaroo carcase out of six hundred has a sample taken and tested?  Yet the Government claims kangaroo meat is safe to eat?
Read more...    *WPAA


The Tasmanian Government is defending the use of capsicum spray, darts and bean-bag guns to scare fur seals away from the state's salmon farms. Environment Minister Brian Wightman has told Parliament he has approved the use of the deterrents because of the danger seals pose to workers' safety. Mr Wightman says a working group in his department will report on the effectiveness of the deterrents in six months. "Obviously we like to focus on exclusion and keeping the seals out and that's what the companies prefer as well," he said. "But there will be times when occupational health and safety is in question and deterrents have to be used."*ABC

Ed Comment; It's got nothing to do with safety issues...seals eat the fish in the pens.....its all about money... and World Wildlife Fund yesterday expressed concern about the potential use of capsicum spray on the protected seals, and the Tasmanian Police have expressed concern that the spray may fall into the wrong hands and be used in crime.


Rainbow Beach wildlife photographer Jennifer Parkhurst has been named the Australian Wildlife Protection Council's 2012 Conservationist of the Year, for her efforts to preserve Fraser Island dingoes. Ms Parkhurst received the award at a special presentation at Kindness House, Melbourne, on Sunday. The presentation took place before an audience of leading conservationists, including Jane Goodall Institute Australia CEO Natalie Houghton. Presenting the award, AWPC president Maryland Wilson said: "When I first heard Jennifer Parkhurst had been fined $40,000 for trying to feed starving dingoes, I was amazed and furious. "It came as a very easy conclusion for us at the Australian Wildlife Protection Council that we should name her the winner of this year's environmental award for all the wonderful things she's done for dingoes". The citation states her award is "in recognition of outstanding contribution to the preservation and protection of Australian native wildlife". Ms Parkhurst showed her audience video of her journey over seven years in the company of island dingoes, recording intimate details of their daily lives. The unique footage featured lively images of play behaviour and never before seen glimpses of a dingo pack's intimate daily life. Several of her audience wiped tears from their eyes as they watched video of dingo puppies dying from starvation. Several thanked her for her perseverance and said they felt honoured to have shared in part of her experience on the island.  Chronicle


The Japanese government has ordered the suspension of shipments of Pacific cod caught off the country's north-east. It comes after high levels of radiation were detected in the species. The contaminated fish were caught more than 300-kilometres north of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.  Radioactive caesium exceeding the government's safety limit has now been found twice in Pacific cod caught off the fishing port of Hachinohe in north-east Japan.  The government immediately ordered that shipments of the species from the region be suspended. Earlier this year cod fishermen from the same area voluntarily stopped shipping their catch after hauling in contaminated fish. *ABC


Ten crocodiles have been captured during the first week of an annual monitoring project in far north Queensland. The team from Australia Zoo is scouring the Wenlock River near Weipa as part of a research project undertaken since 2008.  Australia Zoo curator Kelsey Engle says it is dangerous but valuable work. "Basically, once you get a croc in a trap, you need to extract the crocodile from the trap," she said. "The guys will place top jaw ropes on them, position themselves and then you jump on the crocodile so you have lots of friends with you at this time. "Then we get to secure the crocodile and then we start the course of moving through and taking all the measurements, we'll take blood and tissue samples, place transmitters on [it]" She says the project provides important data. "We tag them and each year we learn a little bit more I guess about what they do and where they do it and how they interact with each other and those sorts of aspects which are really valuable in managing a species." *ABC


When I was teenager working in a butcher shop in New Zealand, Moari women used to bring ambergris into the shop to be wieghed. They would collect the ambergris from the local beaches, and a buyer used to come up from Auckland to collect it. It was a good money-earner for the women. Ambergris is whale vomit, it floats around in the oceans, and washes up on beaches. Extremely valuable in those days, it used to be used in perfumes to hold the scent longer. Ambergris is soft, waxy, and pungent. Nowdays of course they use chemicals instead of ambergris. However, last week a young British boy is rich after discovering a large piece of whale vomit washed up on a UK beach valued as high as $60,000, according to the local newspaper "Daily Echo." All he has to do is find a buyer!  * Editor


Signs threatening Old Noarlunga (South Australia) residents who support culling corellas have been posted around the suburb.  The cardboard signs saying "save the corellas, cull a resident" have been displayed on stobie poles and put in residents' letterboxes over the past two weeks. Old Noarlunga resident Wayne Henkel, who had a sign put in his letterbox, said it was "quite threatening". "It's got quite personal and it's no wonder people are hesitant to speak out about the corella problem," Mr Henkel said. It came after Onkaparinga councillors voted in July to lobby the State Government to take control of corella management in the district, after last season's culling program had little impact. Old Noarlunga residents have long complained about the birds littering the area with droppings, keeping them awake at night, swooping and ripping up ovals. Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said last week the council was still waiting for the government decision about taking over the birds' management. *SA News

National Parks

An egg-shaped pile of rocks that will crumble into its environment has cost taxpayers almost $700,000 after being built in a remote section of national park near the Sunshine Coast.  The Courier-Mail can reveal the Department of Environment and Resource Management, under the former state Labor government, quietly commissioned British artist Andy Goldsworthy to create the "not-to-be-missed attraction", in the rugged Conondale National Park. Strangler Cairn, made from granite and slate from a local quarry, will eventually "blend into its environment" when a strangler fig grows over it. The Courier-Mail has obtained a briefing note from National Parks to Minister Steve Dickson breaking down the $684,000 Arts Queensland project. Of that, $330,000 was paid to Goldsworthy, who was flown from Scotland, while the rest went on "production expenses". This included $50,000 to heli-lift the 30-tonne collection of rocks to the site, about two hours' drive north of Brisbane. "Labor placed this pile of artfully arranged rocks on an offshoot of a 56km walking track which takes experienced bushwalkers four days to cover," Mr Dickson said. "They spent well over half a million dollars of taxpayer funds on an international artist to 'enhance' a remote area with art that is designed to eventually disappear." Opposition arts spokesman Jackie Trad could not say how many people had viewed the monument. "This is just a diversionary tactic by the LNP Government which is experiencing a loss of public confidence because of their cuts to frontline services and the sacking of thousands of workers," she said.  *Courier Mail

Among the more than 16,000 humpback whales making their migration past the Fraser Coast this year, Hervey Bay's whale-watching boats were excited to also catch a southern right whale and her newborn calf earlier this week. The two whales, thought to be only the fourth or fifth pair to have been spotted in Hervey Bay, were seen late on Sunday afternoon by the excited group of crew and tourists on Blue Dolphin Marine Tours. Blue Dolphin owner Peter Lynch said the boat had been on its way back to the harbour when he spotted an unusual fluke. He said the 23 tourists on board had been stoked to see the different species.  Mr Lynch estimated the calf, which was the first one he has spotted this season, was less than two weeks old. Southern right whales are pregnant for about a year and on average give birth to one calf every three years.  Hervey Bay Whale Watch, Whalesong Cruises, Tasman Venture and Pacific Whale Foundation also spotted the pair this morning playing in waters in the southern part of Platypus Bay. Southern right whales generally only migrate as north as Byron Bay before returning to Antarctica. *Chronicle


It’s obviously feel-good, family-friendly marketing, but the brutal reality is those “Sugar Glider Road”, “Wallaby Close” and “Fairy Wren Circuit” street signs are almost certainly memorials for absent friends rather than indicators of cherished co-residents. As was so disturbingly articulated by wildlife veterinarian Dr Jon Hanger on Four Corners August 20, when we clear bushland the wildlife doesn’t just move on. In almost all cases most of the lizards, mammals, small birds and koalas will die, either immediately during the destruction of their habitat, or eventually due to exposure to predators, lack of food or the sheer stress associated with losing their environment. And this kind of wildlife death is specific to Australia: in other countries, suburban sprawl moves over already-transformed rural landscapes. Here, it often envelopes the surrounding forest. *
Read more  ..

Cane Toads

A new weapon is set to be unleashed in the fight against cane toads - one of northern Australia's most damaging pests. A research and development company has been given final approvals to launch an aerosol spray which anaesthetises and then kills cane toads. Company spokesman David Doyle says much of the research has taken place in far north Queensland. "What we've been doing now is extending the intended pattern of use of the spray from a one-by-one treatment to actually euthanizing groups of toads," he said. "This is a potential use that comes up when there are community toad-collecting events or toad traps. "Certainly there's a lot of toads to be dealt with."  *ABC

Fundraiser for Wildlife

Hello, My name is Tegan Lather. I am a 13 year old Joey Ambassador for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.  I love the fact that Mum and Dad spends heaps of time with me helping to raise money and awareness for the Australia Zoo wildlife hospital. In the last year I have been able to raise $27,500.00 for the Hospital!  So far we have had a family fun day car rally, dinner at Nando's Maroochydore and now we have a fun party and movie screening of Madagascar 3 in 3D. Adults will be charged at kids prices which is $16.50 but my mum had a pink fit at that much money so we have asked our friend Jill to help us create an awesome party as well.  So on Sunday the 16th of September at Maroochydore Birch Carroll and Coyle we will see a live snake demo, play games, win prizes, raffles and lucky door. the mums and dad get a Body Shop gift bag to go home with! It starts at 11am with the movie screening at 1pm.  I hope you will check out the web page I have written. You just have to book your tickets!  I hope it is ok that I wrote to you this way, mum is a bit worried.  Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day. If you would ever like to come out to the Wildlife Hospital and talk to the local joeys I am sure that Phil our Joey Leader would love to help out.  If you would like to do this I can get Phil to call you, Thank you, Tegan.  A fundraiser for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation Email:


One-fifth of the "spineless creatures that rule the world" may be at risk of extinction, according to a new study. The 87-page report found the rising human population is putting ever more pressure on creatures like slugs, spiders, jellyfish, lobsters, corals, and bugs such as beetles and butterflies. The report said that invertebrates - creatures that have no internal skeleton - are facing loss of habitat, pollution, over-exploitation and climate change. The study, produced with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, could also have implications for humans. "The invertebrates are the ecosystem engineers," said Ben Collen at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). "They produce a lot of the things that humans rely on and they produce them for free." The services they provide - helping humans whose growing numbers threaten their survival - include water purification, pollination, waste recycling, and keeping soils productive. For instance, earthworms recycle waste and bees pollinate crops. The value of insect pollination of crops has been valued at $US191 billion a year, according to the report. *ABC Read More  ..


What began as unusual bird behaviour has turned into something out of a horror film for threatened whales in Argentina. Seagulls around the city of Puerto Madryn discovered about a decade ago that by pecking at the whales as they come up for air, they can create open wounds. Then, each time the whales surface, it's dinner time. Seagull attacks on southern right whales have become so common that authorities are planning to shoot the gulls to reduce their population. Environmentalists say the plan is misguided and that humans are creating so much garbage that the gull population has exploded. Both sides agree that the gull attacks in one of the whales' prime birthing grounds is not only threatening the marine mammals, but the region's tourism industry as well, by turning whale-watching into something sad and gruesome. ''It's not just that the gulls are attacking the whales, but that they're feeding from them,'' said Marcelo Bertellotti, from the National Patagonia Centre, a government-sponsored conservation agency. ''It really worries us because the damage they're doing to the whales is multiplying, especially to infant whales that are born in these waters.'' Also, instead of breaching the water and dramatically displaying their tails, they are rising barely enough to breathe before descending to safety, Bertellotti said. Bertellotti's answer: Shoot the gulls that display this behaviour and recover each downed bird before they are eaten along with the ammunition. His 100-day Whale-Gull Action Plan was approved by the government of Chubut province. Environmentalists, however, say the only way to effectively reduce the seagull population is to deny the birds food by closing open-air garbage dumps around the gulf and stopping people from dumping fish parts. *Age


West Australian authorities seem to be no closer to working out how to deal with a dramatic rise in shark attacks. A man is in hospital in Perth after being attacked at Red Bluff, a surfing spot more than 150 kilometres north of Carnarvon. The 34 year old, originally from New South Wales, suffered severe injuries to his right arm. Over the past 12-months, there have been five fatal attacks. After the last fatal attack the Fisheries Minister commissioned a report into shark nets, the Premier Colin Barnett has suggested nets may not be the answer. " I have said given the numbers of attacks and now another one yesterday, we will look at everything that is used to try and minimise the risk of shark attack including shark nets. What is not well understood, including by myself, I've got to say until a few weeks ago, is that a shark net is in fact a shark trap, that's what they do. So you know most people including myself had a view that a shark net would be an area around, you know net around a swimming area and it will keep the sharks out, it doesn't. It actually traps and kills sharks".
Read more  ..

Flying Foxes

The State Government's plan to turf the permit system to cull or move on flying foxes divided Rockhampton (Central Queensland) councillors this week. It was the third time the proposed changes to legislation came before council after Cr Ellen Smith requested an urgent report on flying foxes. Cr Smith's request was sparked by the hospitalisation of a Nankin woman who was suspected to have contracted hendra virus from her foal that died of the deadly disease in July. Since then, the woman has shown no signs of hendra. But Mayor Margaret Strelow said she believed a human's life was more important than a bat's. She and six other councillors successfully pushed for council to make a submission to the State Government urging them to keep the permit system and offer advice on flying foxes. No decisions were made on whether the 10 flying fox colonies in the region would be touched. But if it is passed, the legislation will give local governments and landholders who believe flying foxes are endangering their own health, or animals' health, the power to cull or move on the flying foxes. Despite speaking forcefully in favour of the protection of flying foxes, Cr Stephen Schwarten and Cr Glenda Mather refused to back the submission because it said it supported "the intent" of the changes. Cr Schwarten labelled the motion for a submission as "arrogant", saying scientists had only recently linked the virus with flying foxes. *Morning Bulletin

Ed Comment; It appears that Biosecurity Qld (all about "pest" animals) has issued a press release stating they have a flying fox survey on their website at  but we couldnt find it. Our readers may like to have look, we suppose it will eventually follow the press release sometime....

AZWH Patient of the Week...  ..  Dixie the Whistling Kite

Found: By pigging dogs at Coochin Creek in Glass House Mountains, with a fishing hook and lure from its beak to its feet pinning its head down. Transported to: The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by the concerned gentleman who made the discovery. Veterinary Assessment: Dr Amber’s assessment found Dixie also had a fractured middle toe on the right foot that required amputation. Treatment: Dr Amber administered Dixie pain relief and anaesthetic in order to remove the hooks and amputate the injured toe. She also cleaned the wounds to Dixie’s leg and beak. Future: As raptors require specialised care, Dixie will undergo intensive rehabilitation at the AZWH. Assessment before release will ensure Dixie is able to hunt in the wild. AZWH Statistic: Over 40 patients so far this year have been admitted after becoming entangled in fishing tackle. Please be a responsible fisherman and clean up around our waterways!


Australians have been asked to catch the world's deadliest spider, the funnel-web, so the arachnids can be milked for their poison. Funnel-web poison is needed to make the anti-venom which is used to treat spider bite victims. Without the anti-venom, victims may die within the hour. The Australian Reptile Park, north of Sydney, is the only Australian centre where venom is extracted to make the anti-venom. Julie Mendezona, who works at the park, says stocks are worryingly low. She is urging anyone who catches a funnel-web to bring it in. "Usually we are the ones saying to people, 'if you see a dangerous animal, leave it alone and then it will leave you alone, and you won't have any run-ins'," she said.  "But, it is really important that we turn to the community to actually obtain our funnel-webs.  "It's the most productive way for us to get these animals." *ABC

Become a Wildlife Warrior

By making a one-off donation or joining our monthly giving program you can become part of a global wildlife force that is working hard to preserve our natural environment. Monthly Giving Program; Sign up to become a regular giver for wildlife conservation! Donations start from as little as $2.50 a week and can go to helping our native wildlife at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Nearly 100 wildlife emergency calls are received every day at the Hospital, Up to 30 different species are admitted to the hospital every day, Currently around 80 koalas undergoing treatment, Approximately 70% of patients are victims of car accidents or domestic pet attacks, The cost to treat one animal ranges from $100 to thousands of dollars To sign up or find out more please visit *

Kangaroo Industry....Stalled roo trade has McVeigh hopping mad

Qld State Agriculture Minister John McVeigh has joined the chorus of criticisms directed at federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig over the apparent information shortfalls hampering efforts to resurrect the Russian kangaroo meat export market. Mr McVeigh has written to Mr Ludwig demanding the federal government urgently address the information requests from the Russian government as a measure to assist restart of the devastated export kangaroo meat industry. Mr McVeigh's call follows his meeting with Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov earlier this month. "The Russian Ambassador was quite open-minded during our meeting and was keen to discuss the potential future of the kangaroo trade," he said. "While the Russians are happy to talk to me - this is predominantly a Queensland industry we are talking about - I am puzzled why my very own federal Minister for Agriculture is not as equally interested in talking with me about it."

"International trade is a responsibility of the federal government from both the Agriculture Minister (Ludwig) and Trade Minister (Craig Emerson), (who) are Queenslanders. "As a fellow Queenslander, I appeal to them to get moving on this issue and appeal for them to listen to the message from the Russian Ambassador, and that is the Russian authorities are waiting for information from AQIS. "This is a matter of urgency." As previously reported by Queensland Country Life, the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia (KIAA) president Ray Borda received an official letter in June from the deputy head of Russian biosecurity organisation, Rosselkhoznadzor, claiming Moscow was yet to receive briefings from the Australian government about measures undertaken to meet veterinary sanitary requirements across the kangaroo industry, despite repeated requests.

This development comes despite ongoing assurances from Mr Ludwig that the federal government was taking all measures possible to address international concerns over the industry. Mr Borda said he had been repeatedly informed by the federal government that negotiations to resume the Russian trade should remain strictly "government to government". More than 2000 jobs and at least $150 million in export income have been lost since Australia's largest market for kangaroo meat, Russia, suspended access for product in 2009 amid hygiene and biosecurity concerns. Mr Ludwig's office said he was yet to receive the letter. KIAA executive officer John Kelly said the industry faced ruin. "With an El Nino coming, Queensland is staring down the barrel of a disaster," he said. "Farmers will soon be feeding 20 million starving kangaroos and the state will have to deal with an animal welfare disaster." *Qld Country Life


Sea turtle populations appear to have stabilised along Queensland's coastline after their food supplies were wiped out by cyclones. There has been a significant decrease in the amount of dead and injured turtles reported on beaches in recent months, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Seagrass meadows, which were demolished in cyclones Yasi and Hamish, appear to be slowly replenishing within the marine park. But while scientists are cautiously optimistic about the future of threatened turtle populations they are still stumped by the mystery deaths of more than 70 turtles from Upstart Bay to Plantation Creek, near Ayr. James Cook University researcher Dr Ellen Ariel said samples from the turtles, which had shown no sign of illness nor injury, were sent to the University of Amsterdam for analysis. She said while it was encouraging to see seagrass meadows being restored, including off Townsville, it would take a while for the turtles' food supplies to be fully replenished. "The seagrass is coming back, slowly - nothing like they used to be," she said. "Hopefully as we come into summer we will see an increase in the seagrass meadows. "What we have to hope for is not another big wet season."

She believed the decrease in the number of turtle strandings was a reflection of the death toll, which numbered more than 2000 since the start of January last year. "The drop in strandings probably reflects that the turtles that were at risk (of starving) have now died, or transitioned on to an algae diet, which they can do," she said. "While there may be just a bit of seagrass around, they tend to supplement it with an algae diet." Thirty green turtles and one hawksbill turtle have been cared for at Reef HQ's Turtle Hospital in Townsville in the past 12 months. One of the patients, a 15-year-old green sea turtle named Mara, was released back into Cleveland Bay last week. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Dr Russell Reichelt said the turtle deaths showed the importance of protecting the animals. "We have six of the seven world species here, and they're all vulnerable or endangered," he said. "We've had a terrible couple of years with high mortality of turtles." *Townsville Bulletin

Wild Rivers Outed

The Queensland Government will break a pre-election promise not to replace wild rivers protection of the historic Cooper Creek and Diamantina and Georgina rivers.  Mines Minister Andrew Cripps yesterday said he was investigating alternative strategies for the Lake Eyre Basin rivers. "It is part of my charter letter responsibilities issued to me by the Premier to develop these alternative strategies to protect western rivers while still allowing sustainable development to proceed," Mr Cripps said. "The idea behind the project is to remove unnecessary regulations without compromising the environmental values of these rivers." Before the election, Environment Minister Andrew Powell said: "The LNP has no plans to repeal or replace any of the wild rivers declarations in western Queensland." Former Winton Shire mayor and Remote Area Planning and Development Board chairman Ed Warren said the Government should let wild rivers protection stand because it could protect graziers against mining and irrigation.

Pew Environment Group spokesman Rupert Quinlan said Mr Cripps' plan raised fears that protection against irrigation, mining and CSG extraction would be wiped. "I urge Mr Cripps to go to western Queensland to speak to graziers and traditional owners before making a decision," he said. Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the industry was happy with the move because it had no confidence in the scientific rigour behind wild rivers which risked locking up vast resources. "I'd also remind graziers that the mining footprint in Queensland is 0.09 per cent while producing one in five dollars for the economy. Grazing occupies 86 per cent of the land mass," he said. Boulia Shire Mayor Rick Britton said wild rivers protection irritated graziers but mining brought greater fears. "We can use wild rivers to market this area," he said. "A lot of this country relies on artesian and sub-artesian water and if there is even just a 1 per cent risk of it being damaged through mining, it's too big a risk." Mr Powell is already removing wild rivers protection for Cape York's Wenlock, Stewart, Archer and Lockhart rivers. This is expected to allow several contentious mining projects to go ahead and will include mining in the Steve Irwin Reserve, paid for in part by taxpayers. *Courier Mail


The controversial super-trawler Margiris will undergo a name change and will officially call Brisbane home, but it might not even visit the city's port.  The operator of the 142-metre factory ship, to be renamed the Abel Tasman, says it has nominated the Queensland capital in an application to have the vessel reflagged as Australian. "However, that does not mean it will be based in Brisbane," Seafish Tasmania director Gerry Geen said in a statement on Monday. "It may not even visit Brisbane." Seafish had previously said the Margiris would be based at Devonport in Tasmania. Speculation the company could abandon the idea of using a Tasmanian base was fuelled by Mr Geen at the weekend. He described a motion in the Tasmanian parliament as "not particularly inviting to us to use Tasmanian ports". Tasmanian Labor, Liberals and Greens combined last month to call on the federal government to provide more scientific information on the trawler's fishery. The move came after months of opposition in Tasmania from green groups, recreational fishers and federal MP Andrew Wilkie, who instigated a complaint to be investigated by the commonwealth ombudsman.

Mr Geen said Tasmania, which Seafish has said would benefit to the tune of $10-15 million, could still figure in plans for the ship. "The fact is that we intend to operate the vessel in the fishery stretching from the NSW-Queensland border to Western Australia and, of course, that includes Tasmania," he said. "During operation the Abel Tasman may visit a number of ports, including Devonport as was our original plan, to offload our catch, resupply the ship and change work crews." Mr Geen said 20 of the company's 45 Devonport employees had been flown to South Australia's Port Lincoln, where the ship is currently berthed. He said the paperwork had been done to have the ship reflagged and renamed and, if approved, Seafish would apply to have its 18,000-tonne quota of small pelagic fish transferred to the Abel Tasman. The ship would then leave Port Lincoln to fish in the Great Australian Bight with an Australian Fisheries Management Authority by-catch expert and a European "excluder net" expert both on board. The decision to rename the ship - which is from the Netherlands - in honour of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman has caused anger in some quarters. "Calling the vessel Abel Tasman would just be adding insult to injury for the hundreds of thousands of Tasmanians for whom that name has a deep connection and significance," Tasmanian Greens spokesman Kim Booth said. "Just as a leopard cannot change its spots, this cynical use of Tasmania's namesake is ... shameless spin." *Mercury

Ed Comment; the reason they want to use Brisbane is that there will be protests at the wharf in Tasmania, but protestors may not be so active in Brisbane (they think).

No Shark Nets for WA!

There is no way to stop shark attacks along Western Australia's deadly coast, Fisheries Minister Norman Moore admits, but more needs to be done to minimise them.  "The problem we've had with shark attacks in WA is there is actually no silver bullet," Mr Moore told reporters in Perth on Monday. "It is not possible to put in place any mechanisms that would absolutely prevent anybody from being attacked by a shark in the future. "You've got to be trying to minimise the risk." Mr Moore had earlier ruled out using shark "gill nets" to protect WA's coastline, saying they trapped and killed other marine life, which actually attracted sharks. But he said he was considering special mesh barriers to enclose popular beaches. "Shark enclosures are more suited to WA wave conditions, do not silt up with sand and seaweed and do not result in by-catch of protected species, but would also be extremely costly to build and maintain," he said in a statement.

WA's southwest is officially the world's deadliest place for shark attacks, with five fatalities in the past 12 months. Mr Moore said other options being considered were the expansion of state powers to hunt and kill protected great white sharks if they presented a danger to human life, and research into personal and beach-based shark repellants. "Most of the shark attacks in WA are a fair way offshore, and they (the victims) are divers or surfers," he said. "Any shark nets or even shark enclosures wouldn't have any benefits for those people anyway, but repellants could." The minister said more needed to be known about great white shark behaviour and habits. The WA government is calling for public comment on an independent study by Bond University Associate Professor Daryl McPhee looking at ways to reduce shark encounters. The state's latest attack happened last week, when a 34-year-old surfer was mauled by a shark in a remote part of the Gascoyne region, about 1100km north of Perth. He is recovering from the attack. *WA News