Croc-hunting safari plan in the spotlight
A PARLIAMENTARY hearing in Cairns this month will dissect a proposal to legalise a cull of "rogue" crocodiles in urban areas and outback swimming holes.
Cook MP Cynthia Lui will sit on a six-person committee investigating the Safer Waterways Bill in Cairns on August 27 with subsequent hearings in Port Douglas, Townsville and Mackay.
The Katter's Australian Party Private Member's Bill would make it legal for tourists to go on approved croc-hunting safaris hosted by indigenous groups.
A new crocodile authority based in Cairns would decide how many crocodiles should be culled, landholders could get permits to kill crocs on their land and egg harvesting would be legalised.
The hearings promise to be colourful affairs, with submissions spanning the political spectrum.
Crocs south of the Boyne River
A map showing confirmed and reported sightings of crocodiles south of their accepted range.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree president Ben Woodward backed the creation of a Queensland Crocodile Authority based in Cairns to oversee the effective management of crocodiles at "ground zero".
He supported the Bill and called for investment in croc-safe swimming enclosures.
"In Cape Tribulation, frequent crocodile sightings resulted in the permanent closure of a successful and highly esteemed kayaking business that had been operating for 29 years without incident," he wrote. "A Reef operator in the same location has had to significantly alter operations to ensure the safety of crew and passengers."
Cape York Land Council CEO Peter Callaghan broadly supported the Bill because it would make communities safer and "provide economic development opportunities for Aboriginal people".
The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland argued the proposal conflicted with existing international and federal laws around deliberately killing a vulnerable species.