He deserves a medal not a fine: My letter to MP Mark Furner
Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters have written to Mark Furner, Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, after media reports that a Queensland man is under investigation for releasing a whale calf entangled in a shark net at Burleigh Heads.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "The man in question - dubbed 'Tinny Man' by locals - received a standing ovation from people watching from the shore who were frustrated and distressed at seeing nothing being done.
"To slap him with such a massive fine is unfair on someone just trying to do the right thing.
"We have today written to Mark Furner questioning the grounds on which he is being investigated.
"If it is for breaching rules for being within proximity of shark control measures then we have argued that this does not apply to someone with a reasonable excuse.
"We have also said that if he is found to be in breach, that he be granted an amnesty.
"The guy is a hero in my eyes - don't fine him, give him an Order of Australia.
"If there's anything criminal about this incident, it is the Queensland state government still using shark nets which don't make beach-goers safe and instead kill protected marine life.
"Fining a brave soul for saving a dying baby whale out of instinct will create an international outrage that the Queensland government would be best to avoid."