Crocs roam free under Labor’s watch

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has blasted Labor’s lax approach to crocodile management in the North.

A NUMBER of close calls between crocodiles and residents in Hinchinbrook has again highlighted the failure of the State Labor Government’s crocodile management policy, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

Mr Dametto said he was extremely concerned for the welfare of residents in the community of Beach Holm after they contacted him recently with reports of two crocodiles stalking the banks of Black River.

“My office and I have been liasing with residents for the past few weeks about this issue, strongly lobbying Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch’s office to get rangers to remove these crocodiles as they pose an unacceptable risk to the community. Disappointingly, we are still waiting for a response,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have a situation where bureaucrats in Brisbane seem to put the life of a dangerous, overpopulated animal above that of human beings and their pets.”

Mr Dametto said Katter’s Australian Party’s Safer Waterways Bill, which was voted down by both major parties last year, advocated for a controlled reduction of the crocodile population and egg harvesting in waterways that surround populated areas.

“Here we had a solution that would reduce the number of crocodiles in populated waterways, but neither Labor nor the LNP are interested. The safety of North Queenslanders seems to be a low priority for them,” he said.

“Multiple constituents have told me of sightings of crocs in areas where they have never been before, which tells me they are grossly overpopulated. This is due to decades of inaction by both Labor and the LNP to tackle this problem head on. A responsible reduction of crocodile numbers will reduce the risk of potential attacks and let people better enjoy our local waterways.”

The Bill, which was introduced into parliament by Hill MP Shane Knuth, also sought to establish a Cairns-based “Queensland Crocodile Authority” which would be required to remove all rogue crocodiles living in urban areas or waterways used by people for recreation. This would be achieved either through a controlled cull or relocation to an approved crocodile farm.

Under the KAP’s proposal, authorised landholders would be permitted to decide whether to euthanise, relocate or retain crocodiles inhabiting their property. If they choose to have a crocodile permanently removed, the landholder can either do this themselves or accept payment from another person who wishes to permanently remove it.

“Katter’s Australian Party will continue to fight for this common-sense policy that restores the balance between crocodiles and humans in our waterways,” Mr Dametto said.

Nick Dametto MP