Dec 15, 2022


Dec 15, 2022

Member for Hill Shane Knuth has today (Thursday, December 15) spoken out about the incident on Wednesday, where a large crocodile attacked and ate a 45kg Labrador while on a family walk at a popular park.


Mr Knuth said KAP had submitted their Safer Waterways Bill twice before parliament, advocating for a zero-tolerance policy on any crocodiles sighted in populated areas, additional funding for indigenous rangers and the establishment of a Queensland Crocodile Authority based in Far North Queensland to better manage crocodiles.


On both occasions, the KAP bill has been postponed and voted down while crocodiles continue encroaching more and more into populated areas.


“It is a huge issue and one KAP have been warning the government about for years,” Mr Knuth said. 


“We get contacted constantly by the public about problem crocodiles in waterways and fishermen who are more and more weary of launching boats. 


“We have seen closures at popular tourist beaches because of croc sightings in populated areas and concerns have been raised by Surf Life Saving Clubs. 


“Yet the Governments pathetic response is to put up a warning sign or say they will “monitor” crocodiles to see if they exhibit aggressive behaviour.


“Any crocodile, anywhere near populated waterways or beaches should be considered a danger and removed immediately, but we need additional funding for more rangers on the ground to do this.”


Mr Knuth said the 45kg Labrador could have easily been a child.


“This is not a case of a family jumping into the water or playing by the water’s edge,” he said. 


“This is a family walking their dog along a popular footbridge in the suburb of Kamerunga in Cairns.  


“Will it take a child to be taken before the government listens to the Far North and make significant changes to the state’s Crocodile Management Policy to ensure public safety?”


Mr Knuth said KAP is not advocating for a return to the 70’s when the crocodile population was nearly wiped out.


However, there was a concern for human safety and there is a value in crocs with economic benefits such as egg, meat and skin harvesting. 


“I will again be submitting the KAP’s Safer Waterways Bill to Parliament, and as previous, I expect there will be massive support for the Bill from those living in Far North Queensland,” Mr Knuth said. 


KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Mick Dametto said the State Government’s inability to manage crocodile numbers in populated areas has led to this latest pet tragedy.


“This was a near miss where quite easily a human life could have been lost,” said Mr Dametto.


“If the bureaucrats that brief the Minister on what is going on with crocodile numbers spent five minutes outside of 1 William Street, Brisbane, they would be able to grasp the concept of the danger North Queenslander’s are facing every time they are near a waterway.”