PM backs Barnett shark cull
Colin Barnett. Picture: File

Tony Abbott says he fully backs Colin Barnett's shark cull and would love to surf if he can find time during the WA Senate election campaign.

The Prime Minister said "something had to be done" in the wake of seven fatal shark attacks in three years.

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"Look, it's a State issue but what Colin's doing has been done successfully off the coast of Queensland for decades," Mr Abbott said. "I think they've had only one fatal shark attack since they started."

Mr Abbott's support for the cull comes despite the doubts he had a few months ago about whether killing sharks would make beaches safer.

The PM said NSW, his home State, had taken a different approach to Queensland and WA.

"We've done meshing rather than baiting but I think since meshing began there hasn't been a single shark attack off Sydney beaches," he said.

When interviewed on Brisbane radio in December, Mr Abbott appeared torn on the issue. "It is a vexed question," he said.

"And I guess there's always the issue of getting the guilty one, so to speak. And, of course, if you suspect it's the wrong time of the year or the wrong time of day or the wrong place, well you don't go into the water."

A keen surfer at Manly and Queenscliff beaches in Sydney, the PM said he might bring his wetsuit to Perth during the Senate campaign in the hope he might find time to surf.

"I hope so," he said. "I'd love to (surf), if I have time."

The West Australian

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