Government officials head to Whitsundays to talk with local tourism industry
Melbourne medical researcher Dr Daniel Christidis died on Monday night after being attacked while paddleboarding and swimming at Cid Harbour. It was the third shark attack at Cid Harbour in the last two months.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the meeting would enable local industry representatives and officials to sit down directly with experts.
“It’s vital that we take the advice of experts and focus on the science to inform our decisions,” Furner said. “This is about getting the key local stakeholders in the same room to talk about what’s best for locals and visitors. Our safety message remains the same – don’t swim in Cid Harbour.”
Jones said it was important to work collaboratively to find the best long-term solution for locals and the local tourism industry.
“We don’t want to dictate to experts and locals, it’s important they have a say in how we tackle this,” she said.
“Safety is our number one priority. The tourism industry has already been working closely with operators to make sure tourists are properly briefed about the risks of getting in the water at Cid Harbour.
“Tourism is a vital industry for the Whitsundays. We’ll also discuss ways to support tourism operators through this tough period.”
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Natassia Wheeler said it was important there wasn’t “a knee-jerk reaction” to the tragedy.
“Local tourism operators continue with stringent warnings to visitors and advising visitors not to swim in Cid Harbour,” she said. “But we need to work with experts and all levels of government to find a longer-term solution.”