Crocodiles dominate discussion
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.