Around 180 electronic drum lines will be installed along 260km of popular West Australian beaches under a federal government plan to prevent shark attacks.
Eleven of the 17 fatal shark attacks occurred in the areas under consideration in the last 25 years, with the federal government insisting the installation cost of up to $7 million over six months should be borne by the state government.
The 176 SMART non-lethal drum lines would be deployed and monitored from Quinns Rock Beach to Mandurah in the metropolitan area and from Bunbury to Prevelly in the southwest, federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Given the high incidence of shark attacks in Western Australia and the recent release of a CSIRO report into great white shark numbers off the west coast of Australia, now is an opportune time for the Western Australian Government to take further steps to protect is citizens from shark attacks," he said.
The exact locations of the drum lines will be subject to local conditions.
"The plan would cover approximately 260km of coastline with about 80 per cent of WA's population living within 30km of the proposed protected areas," Mr Frydenberg said.
"The cost of the deployment of the SMART drumlines would be borne by the Western Australian Government, as shark management is the primary responsibility of state governments."
WA opposition tourism spokeswoman Libby Mettam says the federal government's figure was drastically lower "than the politically inflated estimate of $75 million suggested by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly".
"The minister can no longer sit on his hands saying the subsidies on a personal shark deterrent is enough to make people feel safe, particularly when it is extremely limited," Ms Mettam said in a statement.
She was referring to the state government's May announcement that a further $200,000 would be added to its subsidy program for personal shark deterrent devices for surfboards.
"Given this information, Mr Kelly must explain why he put the figure at $75 million," she said.