15
Mar

Townsville crocs to be given move on orders under new management plan

Townsville crocs to be given move on orders under new management plan

CROCODILES inhabiting certain Townsville waterways will be encouraged to leave or be removed under a streamlined management plan.
But Kennedy MP Bob Katter has accused the Government of not doing enough to protect communities and tourists from the reptiles.

The release of the Queensland Government’s crocodile management plan has sparked renewed calls by Mr Katter for a crocodile cull, shooting safaris and relocations into commercial farms and wildlife parks.

Mr Katter said the Government had failed to recognise the “grave” danger to human beings from crocodiles.

Since 2012, there have been 15 crocodiles removed from Townsville.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the new crocodile management plan would let the public know exactly how crocodiles would be handled using a zone system.

“The new zones range from minimal intervention in areas away from large human populations through to the exclusion and removal of all crocodiles found in areas where effective and reliable barriers can be established to keep crocs out,” Mr Miles said.

Member for Hinchinbrook Andrew Cripps said he did not support a call for a cull and the new management plan was “underwhelming”.

“Steven Miles has produced a more complicated, less flexible plan for local communities to manage problem crocodiles and the adoption of some bizarre management practices that defy common sense,” Mr Cripps said.

“There’s no improvement in terms of how the individual management plans apply to local communities in North Queensland,” Mr Cripps said.

He said the two-year review of the crocodile management plan failed to progress the development of any framework for the establishment of a crocodile egg harvesting industry.

“The establishment of a regulated crocodile egg harvesting industry in North Queensland would be a new commercial opportunity for the region, as well as being a simple, sensible, balanced approach to controlling the wild crocodile population to improve community safety.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said they were taking a scientific approach to managing the reptiles after a survey found 72 per cent of people did not support a cull.

“Safety is the number one priority and balance to ensure the species continues to exist,” he said.

“It’s about being aware of our environment and taking proactive steps so that we don’t have those dangerous situations occur.”

Credit: Townsville Bulletin

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