A LOAD OF CROC

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

WE DO not need our state gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion­ing an $8 mil­lion re­search pro­gram to tell us that croc­o­diles are in­creas­ingly ap­pear­ing of a dan­ger­ous size in our public wa­ter­ways and, in do­ing so, in­creas­ingly en­dan­ger­ing both the safety of humans and our tourism in­dus­try.

One does not need to be a rocket sci­en­tist to work it out: croc­o­diles were culled up un­til 1974 and now they are not — their pop­u­la­tion ev­ery year has been steadily in­creas­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately, their nat­u­ral habi­tat has been de­creas­ing, re­sult­ing in th­ese very ter­ri­to­rial flesh-eat­ing rep­tiles be­ing on the move, look­ing for a new ter­ri­tory and in­creas­ingly un­able to find one.

And, as they ma­ture, so does the size of those thrown out of ter­ri­to­ries and on the move. This is in­creas­ingly af­fect­ing beaches, lo­cal pop­u­la­tions and tourist des­ti­na­tions in Queens­land as ever larger croc­o­diles keep­ing mov­ing south in the hunt for a home they can call their own.

How­ever, with the con­spic­u­ous ab­sti­nence of Dou­glas Shire, af­fected des­ti­na­tions such as Cairns and Townsville do at least have a ze­ro­tol­er­ance pol­icy con­cern­ing croc­o­diles in public places where all 2.2m + size croc­o­diles are re­moved and re­lo­cated.

Beaches and lo­cal swim­ming ar­eas in the Dou­glas Shire are not af­forded this same pro­tec­tion, al­legedly be­cause our mayor and coun­cil have been against this pol­icy choice in­tro­duced back in 2012.

To the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment your pol­icy and phi­los­o­phy to ap­pease the gree­nies, which com­pro­mises the lives of hu­man be­ings (both their safety and their in­come) for the well­be­ing of large rep­tiles is an ou­trage.

Sooner or later croc­o­diles in their never-end­ing search for a home are go­ing to end up on the Sun­shine Coast (they are al­ready in the Whit­sun­days and Rock­hamp­ton), at which point I sus­pect your attitude may dra­mat­i­cally change. In the mean­time, you will be held ac­count­able for any hu­man life taken by the ex­plo­sion of the croc­o­dile pop­u­la­tion.

To our lo­cal coun­cil at this 11th hour of the gov­ern­ment’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of a new croc­o­dile man­age­ment plan, I im­plore you to vote for our shire to have the same zon­ing as Cairns and do not com­pro­mise by vot­ing for any­thing less. The au­to­matic re­lo­ca­tion of 2.2m+ croc­o­diles in public swim­ming ar­eas is not a to­tal so­lu­tion to the croc prob­lem by any means, but at least it af­fords greater pro­tec­tion for humans and is a step for­ward in the right di­rec­tion.

The cur­rent zon­ing (old zone 3, now zone e) wherein 2.2m+ croc­o­diles in public places are first stud­ied of­ten for weeks and only re­moved if ac­tively demon­strat­ing dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour is just ridicu­lous for pedes­trian ar­eas.

To those who are against our public wa­ter­ways be­ing af­forded the same croc­o­dile man­age­ment that Cairns and other towns ben­e­fit from, I say get a grip. Good gra­cious. This zon­ing is­sue is about re­lo­cat­ing croc­o­diles in public swim­ming places — not shoot­ing, mu­ti­lat­ing or harm­ing them.

Wendy Cross­man, Port Dou­glas

Joanne Ablett and pre­sented his re­sume. Within 10 min­utes Joanne in­ter­viewed him and felt she could cre­ate a job for Levi.

Levi ap­proached Moss­man Youth Ser­vices with dis­be­lief and en­thu­si­asm. Joanne con­tacted MYS and ex­pressed great in­ter­est in Levi.

Joanne con­sulted man­age­ment at Cairns Hard­ware and, af­ter a team meet­ing, Levi gained em­ploy­ment on a ca­sual ba­sis.

One week’s em­ploy­ment has passed, with Levi be­ing su­per­vised by War­ren Ass­man and Dale Bishop. Levi has ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion to be given the op­por­tu­nity to gain new skills and en­abling him to iden­tify what area within the hard­ware store he has pas­sion for.

Moss­man Youth Cen­tre also ap­plauds you Levi Wil­liams.

Youth De­vel­op­ment Co­or­di­na­tor Sara Har­ris and Youth Worker Robert O’Gor­man, Moss­man Youth Ser­vices

barely hear them”.

Surely some­thing can be done and done promptly and cheaply and yes why not start with al­ter­nate days?

An­drew Mackay, Port Dou­glas

War­ren Ass­man, Joanne Ablett, Levi Wil­liams and Dale Bishop.

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