LNP urges action on croc problem
CROCODILES are now a political issue, with Queensland opposition leader Tim Nicholls announcing a tougher approach to crocodile management in Port Douglas.
“It’s about having a proactive response rather than waiting for a tragedy to happen,” Mr Nicholls said to a modest crowd of Douglas locals ast the weekend.
Mr Nicholls said the issue had ‘permeated’ through Queensland to such a degree it was a common discussion point everywhere.
“There’s plenty of people that have said to me that when the first kid goes (gets eaten), all hell will come raining down and we’ll be asking why didn’t we (do anything?)”.
Also speaking at the press conference, former Member for Cook, David Kempton said “people have got to know with confidence we’re doing something positive to make them safer,” and that warning signs were not enough.
Increasing education around being croc wise was not supported as the solution, with many locals attending saying more needed to be done to ward crocodiles away and control the population.
Mr Nicholls concurred. “We’re past the business of education and studies – we need action.”
Local government was raised as a major influence in changing policy, with Mr Nicholls saying that the state government cannot overrule local government policy on croc management. “The local government has got to get on board and say this is affecting tourism, this is affecting jobs.
“The LNP can’t come in and kick down the local government.”
The Douglas Shire Council has been taking on a more proactive role on dealing with crocodiles, having helped organise early Novembers crocodile management meeting, and writing to Queensland Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles. Many who attended the early November meeting have since said to the they had little hope for positive change coming about as a result, and Minister Miles has since ruled out more proactive management policy, instead opting for increased education and an altered croc wise campaign.