Katter just after 'easy headline': Miles
IF BOB Katter had his way, all crocodiles in the Proserpine River and between Mackay and Port Douglas would be removed.
This is what the leader of KAP had to say when he visited the Whitsundays on Saturday at the Airlie Beach Foreshore Markets.
Mr Katter said crocodile populations were becoming unsustainable, with typical crocodile mothers laying 50-80 eggs a year, which posed a risk to swimmers.
"We need to remove them all from here, and not kill them because they are very valuable, but some of them you might have to expunge,” he said.
"The head of the Department of Environment (and Heritage Protection) was reported as saying that we are quite safe, all crocodiles are removed south of Agnes Waters, in other words down there the people are protected, but up here the crocodiles are protected.
"We are crocodile food, what an appalling statement.”
The comments came after a fatal crocodile attack in Port Douglas which claimed the life of 79-year-old grandmother Anne Cameron.
Environment Minister Steven Miles said Mr Katter was simply after a shocking headline.
"There are a heap of politicians who know they can get easy headlines when they talk about crocodiles, but those of us in government that administer these policies have to listen to the scientists,” he said.
"They consistently tell me a cull isn't a solution, in fact, if you were to cull in crocodile country close to urban areas you would actually create a void that would attract crocodiles, that is what happens when you mess with the territory of these animals.
"The fact is our wildlife officers are authorised to use fatal force if it is the safest and most appropriate option as we saw (Tuesday in Port Douglas).”
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has also been vocal in the crocodile debate, advocating for a crocodile cull for many years.
While the LNP has not proposed a widespread cull, its policy is to kill problem crocodiles when capture "isn't an option” as part of a five-point plan.
One Nation candidate for Whitsunday Noel Skippen said his party had a "more nuanced” approach than the Katter Party and would establish "exclusion”, "no tolerance” and "problem crocodiles removed” areas across coastal Queensland.