Pitt calls for ur­gent croc ac­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

COOYA Beach iden­tity Ge­orge Pitt wants politi­cians to “get off their back­sides”, lis­ten to the peo­ple’s con­cerns and take some vis­i­ble ac­tion on the is­sue of croc­o­dile man­age­ment, in­clud­ing “con­trolled’ culling.

“My num­ber one pri­or­ity would be to see hu­man lives be saved at all costs,” Mr Pitt said.

He said the cur­rent State Gov­ern­ment plan to re­move croc­o­diles if they dis­play dan­ger­ous behaviour won’t solve the is­sue.

“An­i­mals found big­ger than two me­tres would be en­cour­aged to move, now this is just out­ra­geous…the re­moval of croc­o­diles is point­less and sci­en­tists have proved that on a num­ber of occasions,” he said.

He has some sym­pa­thy with One Na­tion’s plan.

Their pro­posal is to de­velop croc­o­dile farms to fa­cil­i­tate croc egg har­vest­ing which in turn cre­ates jobs for com­mu­ni­ties in Cape York and stim­u­lates the econ­omy as a whole.

Fed­eral mem­ber for Kennedy, Bob Kat­ter, has re­peat­edly called for a cull of prob­lem crocs, a stance Mr Pitt agrees with.

“We need con­trolled culling be­cause what else are you go­ing to do with them?” Mr Pitt said.

“We have got to have some­thing done and it’s got to hap­pen very soon be­fore some­one else gets taken,” he said.

He de­scribed a time when he could safely use a cast net in knee-deep wa­ter back in the ’70s and he says since then croc­o­dile sight­ings have sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased.

Dou­glas Shire mayor Ju­lia Leu joined Ma­reeba, Cairns and Cas­sowary Coast may­ors re­cently in a meet­ing with En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Dr Stephen Miles, ask­ing for tougher man­age­ment of croc­o­diles in ar­eas like Four Mile Beach, Wonga Beach, Newell, Cooya and pop­u­lar boat ramps.

Dr Miles agreed in prin­ci­ple to re­visit once more the zon­ing lev­els in­volved in the state croc­o­dile man­age­ment plan which the gov­ern­ment re­leased only a month or so ago.

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Ge­orge Pitt, of Cooya, crit­i­cal of politi­cians

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