The West

Shark drum line contract cost revealed
The first shark caught under the State Government's policy. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

The contract fisherman setting drum lines off three South West beaches for the Barnett Government is being paid $5705 a day.

The cost of the contract with the fisherman – who The West Australian has decided not to name after threats from protestors – is $610,500 according to information posted on the Government’s tender website this morning.

His contract runs for 107 days – from January 14 to April 30, meaning he is paid $5705 a day.

His contract is with the Department of Premier and Cabinet to provide “shark drum line deployment, management and associated services”.

The winning contractor was one of 18 tenderers to apply for the job.

The contract price adds further weight to suggestions the Government’s indicative $1 million-a-year figure for the drum line policy was much lower than the actual cost.

The policy calls for drum lines to be set on five metropolitan beaches – a job that will now be done by the Department of Fisheries – as well as the three beaches monitored by the private contractor.

Revelation of the cost comes after Premier Colin Barnett told ABC radio this morning he wasn’t sure of the exact price of the contract, which he nonetheless described as “lucrative”.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said: “Whether you support the drum line policy or not – and I don’t – this is clearly a shambles and an expensive shambles at that.

Mr Barnett said today nothing would change his mind about the State's controversial policy, despite vociferous public opposition.

With the baited hooks due to be set off Perth beaches as soon as today, Mr Barnett has revealed he has needed to increase personal security following threats, and a vandalism attack on his office.

But the premier said the policy would stay in place this summer - and possibly next - adding opposition had become “ludicrous” and “extreme”.

“I am concerned if people believe they can take the law into their own hands ... and if they do there will be consequences,” Mr Barnett told ABC radio.

"The attack on my electorate office, a man coming through the door with a raised hammer at two women working in there. There is an extreme element here that are well known to the police.

“We are, in reality, taking quite modest measures to protect a very small part of our coastline from very large sharks - and we have the reality of seven fatalities in three years.”

with AAP

The West Australian

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