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Public hearings confirmed for North Queensland

Jun 20, 2018

Public hearings confirmed for North Queensland

Jun 20, 2018

KAP Member for Hill Shane Knuth is urging the public to attend public hearings on the KAP Safer Waterways Bill set down for August.

The public hearings will be held in Cairns and Port Douglas on Monday the 27th August, Townsville on Tuesday 28th August and Mackay on Wednesday 29th August. The venues and times for the hearings are yet to be finalised.

 Mr Knuth reintroduced the Safer Waterways Bill into Parliament on March 21 this year and recently called on the Innovation Tourism Development and Environment Committee to schedule public hearings in North Queensland.

 “While I am pleased the committee has taken my recommendations on board, I am disappointed a forum has not been set down for Cape York.”  “I understand the time constraints and the forums cannot be held everywhere, but I believe this is a missed opportunity.”

 He said the hearings have been a long time coming with the Safer Waterways Bill first introduced over a year ago. “Finally North Queenslanders have the opportunity to address the committee,” Mr Knuth said.

 “It is critical that we have our say as we are the ones experiencing the problems first hand – not those organisations based in the south east corner. It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how big an issue this is to those of us who live and work in the region.”

 “The Bill calls for self-management of crocodiles through the establishment of the Queensland Crocodile Authority based in Far North Queensland. This is a critical part of the Bill, which enables fast response and more effective management of crocodile numbers in the region, particularly in heavily populated, tourist destinations.”

 He said submissions to the committee, received from peak tourism bodies in North Queensland – Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) & Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree (TPDD), highlight the reluctance of the State Government to address the issue has potential serious ramifications for the tourism industry.

 “It is concerning to me when I read these submissions,” Mr Knuth said. “There are lives at stake and also an entire multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which drives the norths economy.”

 “We must have a better strategy and a balance. This should be a wake-up call for the Government to urgently address the very real concerns of North Queenslanders through the KAP Safer Waterways Bill.”