In response to community concerns, we put forward a Question to the Minister during Budget/Estimates December 2020 to obtain an update on mitigating risk to our swimmers and marine life.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has confirmed that since the last update they have launched a SharkSmart drone trial at five beaches across the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and North Stradbroke Island. Drones have been operating on weekends, public holidays and school holidays since mid-September. We have been advised that the trial will be extended through the Summer school holidays. Subject to weather conditions, drones will continue to fly until midday every day from 10 December 2020 to 26 January 2021.
The Department has also commenced planning for the previously advised trial of SMART drumlines in Central Queensland in early 2021. We have written to the Minister as to when Noosa will be included in this trial.
There are multiple avenues of advocacy underway seeking Queensland to utilize more modern and humane methods to keep both our swimmers and marine life safe, and we will update as more information becomes available.