Crocodiles are an iconic species of Northern Australia. They were almost hunted to extinction during the mid twentieth century but in 1974 legislation protected all crocodiles from unlicensed killing.
A bill has been introduced to the Queensland parliament by Katter Party MP, Shane Knuth, that would permit crocodile hunting, egg collection, removal and relocation to crocodile reserves. The Safer Waterways Bill is based on the false premise that there is a significant problem of crocodile attack in Queensland. The explanatory notes to the bill provide a thorough summary of the intentions of the proposed legislation.
The ABC recently undertook a fact check of Bob Katter's claim that a person is killed by a crocodile every three months in North Queensland. They found his claim to be false. Since 1985 there has been one fatal attack by a crocodile every three years. Meanwhile, in the 2007-2016 period there were on average 8.5 people killed in boating incidents in Queensland, a far more dangerous activity it seems.
The Queensland parliament's Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee is currently seeking submissions on the Safer Waterways Bill 2018. You can help maintain the current protections for crocodiles by making a submission before 4pm on 31 May 2018 asking the committee to*:
- reject the entire Safer Waterways Bill 2018
- call on the Queensland Government to commit to rigorous community consultation with all First Nations Peoples regarding Crocodile Management
- ensure there is increase employment and training of ‘Indigenous Ranger and Protected Area’ programs
- call on the Queensland Government to explore nature-based tourism ventures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, First Nations Peoples communities
- require further crocodile surveys to gain accurate scientific data on crocodile populations and crocodile egg health.
- require research investment into possible changes in crocodile egg mortality and survival rates to sexual maturity
- ensure there is no interference with crocodile populations through culling, removal or egg-harvesting be permitted unless conducted by authorised officers for essential public safety management, approved scientific research
- ensure there is well resourced "Be Croc-Wise" education campaign in Queensland
To be valid your submission must include your name and two of the three below:
- mailing address
- email address
- daytime phone number
Address your submission to
Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee
Ph: 3553 6662 Fax: 3553 6699
*Thanks to Michael McCabe of Capricorn Conservation Council for these points