Sponsorship flags lifesaving SharkSmart messages

Published Thursday, 02 June, 2022 at 02:40 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

The Palaszczuk  Government is partnering with one of Australia’s most trusted organisations, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), to reach tens of thousands of water users with shark safety messaging.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government would sponsor SLSQ for a year to help spread the safety message.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are investing a total of $90,000 to help make SharkSmart messaging as familiar as SLSQ’s iconic red and yellow flags,” Mr Furner said.

“This sponsorship will boost swimmer safety education by integrating DAF’s SharkSmart education messages into SLSQ community engagement initiatives.

“This delivers on the Government’s ongoing commitment to always puts human life and human safety first.

“It also further strengthens the close decades-long relationship the Shark Control Program has enjoyed with Surf Life Saving Queensland who assist in viewing and reporting issues with nets and drumlines, verifying marine animal entanglements and delivering the SharkSmart drone trial.”

SLSQ General Manager Lifesaving and Community Peta Lawlor said the sponsorship provided SLSQ opportunities to extend messages from Fisheries Queensland’s ‘Do your part. Be SharkSmart’ campaign to new audiences.

“This sponsorship creates capacity to reach 42,500 people through our Beach Safe community booklets; 60,000 primary school students, high school and university students, through our community programs; 10,000 nippers through our nipper program; and 10,000 active life savers through our member programs,” Ms Lawlor said.

“Initiatives the sponsorship will support include creating an online interactive activity for school students, and educating active life savers, who have a key role in engaging with the community on the beach, on key SharkSmart messages.

“SLSQ is proud to support the Fisheries Queensland SharkSmart education program’s commitment to extending SharkSmart messages to water users.”

Mr Furner urged Queenslanders to heed the safety messages to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

“We need everyone to do their part every time they are on or in the water, whether you are swimming, surfing, diving, snorkelling, fishing or boating,” he said..

“Being SharkSmart means being responsible for your safety and the safety of others in the water, and we recommended that people follow SharkSmart advice, including swimming at patrolled beaches, and at beaches that have shark control equipment in place.”

Do your part and be SharkSmart:

  • Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches and check signage
  • Have a buddy and look out for each other
  • Avoid swimming at dawn or dusk
  • Reduce risk, avoid schools of bait fishing or diving birds
  • Keep fish waste and food scraps out of the water where people swim
  • Swim in clear water away from fishers

ENDS

Media contact:           Ron Goodman            0427 781 920