Coun­cil­lors at odds over croc man­age­ment

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

FROM PAGE 1

“The three nom­i­nated fresh­wa­ter creeks are very pop­u­lar, we have to try to ac­tively keep our shire res­i­dents safe, and I think this is re­ally a no-brainer,” said Ms Noli.

“We live in this area of the world for a rea­son, we want to use our water­ways and we’re just try­ing to max­imise the use of our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

De­spite her amend­ment be­ing backed by coun­cil­lor Roy Zam­mataro, Ms Noli’s pro­posal was voted down by coun­cil­lors Carey, Leu and Kerr. Mr Carey spoke against the pro­posal say­ing that to re­move croc­o­diles out­right from a few spe­cific ar­eas was a “piece­meal ap­proach” to a shire-wide is­sue.

“In terms of en­vi­ron­ment and bio­di­ver­sity in Dou­glas we need to be tak­ing a holis­tic ap­proach,” he said.

“To do any­thing oth­er­wise is ba­si­cally tak­ing a piece­meal ap­proach which makes a mock­ery of Dou­glas, which trades it­self as the green shire, and holds it­self up as at the fore­front of pro­tect­ing and pre­serv­ing our en­vi­ron­ment.

“We don’t know what the pop­u­la­tions of croc­o­diles in the area sug­gested are, and what the im­pli­ca­tions of their forced re­moval would be.”

Mr Carey also spoke against Ms Noli’s stated in­ten­tion to ‘fu­ture proof’ the ar­eas against croc at­tacks.

“It’s sim­ply go­ing to prop­a­gate a false sense of se­cu­rity and be­lief that cer­tain ar­eas are safe from croc­o­diles, and that would cause the com­mu­nity to be less than vig­i­lant about their po­ten­tial pres­ence and I think that cre­ates a more dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion.

“What we need is ed­u­ca­tion, and for peo­ple to be en­cour­aged to be wary of their en­vi­ron­ment and to know the risks they are tak­ing.”

“I think (the amend­ment) sends a pretty poor mes­sage about Dou­glas Shire and its green cre­den­tials.”

Speak­ing to the Gazette later Mr Carey said that mak­ing the swim­ming ar­eas zone 2 with­out wait­ing for the re­sults of the croc sur­vey was pre­ma­ture.

“I don’t support mak­ing de­ci­sions with­out know­ing the full data,” he said.

He added fu­ture proof­ing the ar­eas iden­ti­fied against croc at­tacks was im­pos­si­ble given croc­o­diles were “very mo­bile crea­tures”.

Also speak­ing later Ms Noli con­tested Mr Carey’s ar­gu­ment. “By all means we try to ed­u­cate peo­ple, but I don’t be­lieve mak­ing these ar­eas zone 2 will make them lais­sez-faire about safety. We’re not go­ing to make it com­pletely safe, but let’s try to make it safer.”

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