Calls for shark protection in the Whitsundays.
Calls for shark protection in the Whitsundays. Contributed

People before sharks: Attacks a 'public health issue'

AS RESCUE crews work to save yet another shark attack victim in the Whitsundays, LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander has called for a shark protection program to be rolled out in the area.

RACQ CQ Rescue was this afternoon airlifting a man from Hardy Reef after a reported shark attack.

Mr Mander said the LNP's position on the increasing attacks in the Whitsunday region remained the same - human life must come before sharks.

"We think there should be shark protection programs in that area, as there is right across the state in every other area,” Mr Mander said.

"I have always said people should come before sharks, it is a public health problem and it is also a tourism issue.

"If these attacks continue to take place, this will be a major blow to tourism in this area.”

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan, who has been vocal about the need for more safety measures to prevent attacks in the region, said he was shocked at the latest incident.

"I can only go on media reports that are light on detail for obvious reasons but my thoughts and prayers are with the victim right now,” Mr Costigan said.

"I also want to say good luck to our fine men and women across the emergency services who are now responding.

"This is not the time to talk about shark numbers, my only concern is for the victim and the people who've responded.”