KAP warns State Gov on croc management inaction

Apr 20, 2023

The KAP has issued a warning to the State Government over its apathy and inaction on crocodile management, despite three reported crocodile attacks already this year in the Far North.

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said the government seems to believe there’s no problem, while the reality on the ground in Far North Queensland is crocodile numbers are exploding and more crocs are moving into populated waterways and beaches than ever before.

“I am constantly warned about near misses and sightings of large crocs in areas locals have never seen them in before,” Mr Knuth said.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone is taken by a crocodile and it seems that’s the only thing that will make the government sit up and listen.

“The government are insulting and patronising regional Queenslanders by continually pointing out we should be ’croc aware’.

“Believe me, the majority of us living in Far North Queensland know the dangers, but nobody would expect a croc to attack and take your dog while walking along a walking trail in a populated area with your family.

“We are already past the “acceptable risk” stage.”

Mr Knuth said the KAP had submitted its Safer Waterways Bill twice to parliament and intend on submitting the bill a third time this year.

“The bill will focus on implementing a Queensland Crocodile Authority based in Far North Queensland to self-manage crocodiles, additional funding for more rangers, egg harvesting economic opportunities to indigenous communities and a permit and licencing system towards removal of crocodiles from any populated waterways or beaches,” he said.

“What we are proposing is a better way to manage crocodile populations in Queensland, to reduce the risk to human lives and to open up economic opportunities to indigenous communities.”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said he was fed up with the government’s inaction on proper crocodile management which led to his question to the Minister for Environment in parliament this week to explain why the department will approve a licenced permit to remove or relocate problem native animals across the state, but not for crocodiles.

“Crocodile numbers and sightings continue to climb across the north and there have been 20 sightings in the Hinchinbrook Electorate in just the last 30 days,” Mr Dametto said.

“We only see what people report and I know from speaking to constituents that many have simply given up reporting croc sightings as they feel it is pointless.

“We can only imagine how high the real number of sightings would be if the data was accurate. 

“The State Labor Government doesn’t seem to comprehend that a proactive response to croc sightings will avoid more humans being harmed or killed but instead they choose to wait for the inevitable before reacting.

“Under the current management plan, the department only considers crocodiles to be a risk if there is a significant number of people living in the area. Where does that leave small communities such as Ingham, Cardwell and Tully who are small in human population but have an increased crocodile population.

“The State Government couldn’t care less about the smaller communities in North Queensland,” Mr Dametto said.