KAP calls for tougher crocodile population management control
8 May 2023
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) are calling on the State Government to create a Queensland Crocodile Authority (QCA), based in Cairns to self-manage crocodile populations in the north.
Speaking from Cairns today, State Member for Hill Shane Knuth said the party has been long-term advocates for significant changes to the management plan to tackle the exploding crocodile population in North Queensland.
“As we already know, North Queenslanders simply cannot trust governing from Brisbane on issues that need to be fixed locally,” Mr Knuth said.
“I don’t hear of too many crocodiles in the Brisbane River or on the Sunshine or Gold Coast, so it makes sense for the QCA would be established in Cairns to self-manage the issue and proactively pursue programs to keep numbers in control and reduce the risk of attacks.
“Even a State Government commissioned independent panel recommended, over nine months ago, the ‘annual removal of a number of 2.4m-plus crocodiles in Queensland’s populated east cost for several years, in addition to problem crocodile removal,’ however nothing has been done.
“I will be tabling the KAP’s Crocodile Control and Conservation Bill 2023, this year into parliament. The Bill aims to locally manage crocodile populations in Queensland while continuing to preserve and protect crocodiles in the wild.”
Mr Knuth said the Bill will establish the Queensland Crocodile Authority, which will administer all programs related to crocodile management, with an advisory committee established to represent indigenous communities, tourism businesses and other related stakeholders.
He added the crocodile population is exploding in North Queensland with constant reports of crocodiles on popular beaches, inland waterways and around boat ramps.
“We acknowledge we are never going to completely eliminate the threat, but we can reduce the threat through annual, controlled, concentrated removal programs to limit the frequency of crocodile attacks in well populated areas, making it safer for people to use our waterways and beaches,” Mr Knuth said.
“North Queenslanders just want management that gives us back our popular beaches and waterways and that always seems to exclude any program on controlling crocodile numbers.”
KAP State Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter firmly believed Queensland’s crocodile populations should be controlled and, in some instances, culled, similarly to how kangaroos, wild dogs, cats and horses are managed.
“The fact that you can cull dogs, cats, horses, pigs and kangaroos but not man-eating crocodiles is the height of environmental madness,” Mr Katter said.
“The answer to this is simple, we need to control the numbers; we don’t advocate going overboard but thinning them out will absolutely make a difference.
“We have to make a decision in this State as to what value we actually place on human lives, and have that value dictate exactly how we are prepared to the manage inevitably dangerous consequences of human and saltwater crocodile populations living alongside each other.”
Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto said recently the KAP had warned the government its inaction on reducing crocodile numbers in populated areas would lead to more attacks and fatalities, which has very sadly come true.
“We are calling on the Government to adopt this Bill and not make the same mistake we have seen regarding youth crime, where the warning signs were evident for everyone to see but the Government still found cause to ignore,” Mr Dametto said.
“Through this Bill, we are calling for proactive management of crocodile populations while still maintaining conservation of crocodiles in the wild.
“North Queensland problems should be solved and managed in North Queensland, not by bureaucrats and governments in Brisbane who wouldn’t even know the difference between a saltie and a freshwater crocodile.
“The Bill has a large emphasis on self-management and local decision making, through the establishment of the Queensland Crocodile Authority based in Cairns.
“I would say if you asked any North Queenslander if that makes sense you would be hard pressed finding anyone who would disagree.”