Shark Shield subsidy scheme could land government in hot water

The McGowan government has refused to reveal whether it could be sued if a person wearing a subsidised Shark Shield was attacked by a shark.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly was asked on June 29 to provide Parliament with the legal advice the state had received about its likely exposure to compensation claims should a government-subsidised deterrent device fail.

Mr Kelly confirmed the Department of Fisheries had sought legal advice on the rebate scheme but refused to reveal what the advice was, claiming it was subject to legal professional privilege.

His decision was referred to WA Auditor General Colin Murphy who on Wednesday deemed Mr Kelly's refusal "reasonable and appropriate".

The state government in May announced a $200 rebate scheme on 1000 Shark Shield devices sold through participating dive and sports shops across Western Australia.

By July, half of the devices had been scooped up for the discounted price of around $550.

The McGowan government's shark mitigation strategy includes promoting the personal deterrent devices, extending WA's shark monitoring network and introducing drones to monitor beaches.

Mr Kelly said the government-endorsed Shark Shield device was selected for the subsidy scheme because it had been independently verified.

There have been 15 fatal shark attacks off WA's coast since 2000.

This story Shark Shield subsidy scheme could land government in hot water first appeared on WA Today.