Croc­o­diles dom­i­nate dis­cus­sion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SHIRE Scott Tibballs Let­ters, page 18

I TOURISM op­er­a­tors have re­acted with scorn and trep­i­da­tion to changes an­nounced to the croc­o­dile man­age­ment plan last week.

Cape Trib Beach House man­ager Matthew Is­abella said it was more bu­reau­cratic non­sense.

“It does noth­ing to pro­tect tourist ar­eas such as Port Dou­glas and the Dain­tree Rain­for­est. There is no al­lo­ca­tion for more funds or re­sources nor does it ad­e­quately ad­dress the many is­sues fac­ing in­creased pop­u­la­tion lev­els of th­ese an­i­mals,” he said.

“I care how crocs will be han­dled, when they will be han­dled and when the risks will be re­moved.”

Man­ager of Pin­na­cle Vil­lage at Wonga Dar­ryl Tenni had sim­i­lar thoughts.

“What man­age­ment plan for Dou­glas? It stops at Buchan Point. The whole rest of the cape is zone E.

“The gov­ern­ment are asleep at the wheel and it is not go­ing to be long be­fore there is another per­son taken and I’m not talk­ing about jump­ing in an in­fested river on a dare. It’ll be a child in a pop­u­lated area such as Four Mile Beach.”

Wendy Cross­man from Port Dou­glas felt the same, telling the that money was be­ing wasted on the wrong is­sues about the large preda­tors. The changes to the plan have prompted Mayor Ju­lia Leu to bring the is­sue to de­bate at the next DSC or­di­nary meet­ing. But the re­sponse will not be unan­i­mous, with Cr David Carey an­nounc­ing he sup­ported the cur­rent zon­ing for Dou­glas.

“I will be pre­sent­ing ar­gu­ments at the March 28 coun­cil meet­ing in sup­port of my po­si­tion, which I con­sider rep­re­sents the views of a large sec­tion of our com­mu­nity.”

Un­der the new plan, what was zone 3 is now zone E, with zones 1 and 2 now changed to zones A, B, C and D — each with vary­ing lev­els of con­trol from out­right re­moval to “en­cour­ag­ing large croc­o­diles to move”.

Three dogs were at­tacked by croc­o­diles at the week­end, with one taken from a Cow Bay Beach and another two in­jured at Wonga and Four Mile beaches.

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