The West

Shark cull Bill strikes a hurdle
Concerns: MPs have worries over the Greens Bill. Picture: Sea Shepherd

A Greens bid to kill off Colin Barnett's shark cull has struck a snag after Federal Parliament warned that the party could be putting the lives of sharks ahead of human lives.

The Greens have introduced a Bill into Parliament seeking to strike out the exemption the Abbott Government gave WA from Federal environment laws that allowed the State's program of baited drum lines to go ahead.

The Greens Bill also sought to deny the Government the right to make similar exemptions in the future.

But a bipartisan parliamentary committee charged with looking at proposed laws to see whether they comply with international human rights standards found last week the Bill might endanger human life rather than protect it.

"Under international human rights law, the right to life must be protected at all times," the committee said.

"While the committee is not able to assess the likely efficacy of the measures permitted under the exemption . . . it notes the stated reason for the exemption - to allow measures intended to reduce shark strikes and preserve lives - defines the measure as engaging the right to life."

The committee - which includes a Greens member - also questioned whether the Bill could contravene international laws enshrining the right to work, pointing out the spike in shark attacks might be hurting the WA tourism industry.

The proponent of the Bill, WA Green Rachel Siewert, said the shark cull was damaging the State tourism industry, not helping it.

The drum line program is now subject to a full environmental assessment.

The West Australian

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