Councillors at odds over croc management
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“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.”