KAP’s State Members will seek to force debate on the party’s crocodile management laws for the complete removal of crocodiles from populated coastal areas after Australia’s chief scientific body finally acknowledged the rise in the man-eaters’ numbers and attacks.
A State Government study to be published by CSIRO has found croc populations have been on the rise since the 1970s, with attacks on humans in the past 20 years surging to an average 1.3 every year.
Since this March alone, one person has been killed and at least seven others attacked by the predators, but the Government continues to sit on its hands.
“This has now escalated to a desperate situation; the natural balance is completely out of control,” State Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said.
“It is absolutely essential we suspend standing orders in Parliament to fast-track debate and passage of KAP’s Safer Waterways Bill, which legislates the controlled removal of crocs, egg harvesting and safari hunting.”
Under KAP laws, crocs would continue to be removed and provided to farms to utilise meat, skins and eggs.
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said that if done properly, culling programs could create up to 80 jobs in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York, with strong backing from Aboriginal groups including the Cape York Land Council.
“I doubt there’d be a single leader who wouldn’t demand the restoration of rights that the First Australians enjoyed for probably 40,000 years before that right was removed by successive ALP and LNP governments,” he said.
Younger generations were being exposed to the most heinous death possible from crocodile attacks thanks to Government inaction, Mr Katter said.
“Brisbane politicians are allowing these reptiles to tear human beings to pieces and are doing nothing whatsoever to allow humans to protect themselves.”
The renewed push comes as momentum grows in Far North Queensland communities, particularly surf lifesaving groups, to reclaim control of waterways.
One Tablelands crocodile farmer has even offered to become a licensed catcher after a recent spike in sightings.
“People are so fed up to the back teeth that they’re willing to take matters into their own hands, but we as a Government need to act immediately,” Mr Knuth said.
Mr Katter said all KAP candidates, including Gordon Rasmussen for the state seat of Cook, were 100 per cent united on the issue with the people of North Queensland.
“Now we have a crocodile-related incident or sighting so frequently, it’s not even news anymore,” he said.
“The Government is talking about management programs that will scientifically assess the numbers and monitor and remove… yeah, to where?
“That’s just laughable to North Queenslanders and the KAP will name and shame all those state MPs who won’t even vote for our legislation to be debated.”
Mr Katter said the fundamental failure of the Government was that it had not come to grips with the grave danger posed to people from flying foxes and crocodiles.
“There couldn’t be a worse way to die; the way a crocodile kills you is just horrific; who would impose that danger upon the people of your state?”