State KAP leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter says he was disappointed to read some of the recent, narrow views by some tour operators regarding crocodile numbers in Queensland.
“People are entitled to their opinion but it’s a shame some people think it is an overreaction,’’ he said.
“While I congratulate people for taking the time to put in a public submission on the KAP Safer Waterways Bill, many people don’t seem to grasp the scope of the issue and how it is effecting the everyday lives of North Queenslanders.
“The Government’s own figures speak for themselves. In 2010 there were 176 sightings, by 2016 this had grown to 378 and last year there were 700 reported sightings.
“As of July 27 this year there have been 489 sightings already.
“Some surf lifesaving clubs are reporting falls of 20 per cent in member numbers as a direct result of the fear of a crocodile attack. In North Queensland during 2017/18 there were 24 forced beach closures due to crocodile sightings which was up from the previous year of 15.
“We’ve had scientists and tourism business operators supporting the call for a crocodile cull and a survey in the Cairns Post earlier this year found 77 per cent of respondents were in favour of a cull.
“I flew in a chopper over the Burdekin on Monday morning and spotted over 20 crocs in an hour.
“The Labor Government does nothing about the immediate problem, but if someone dares to take action to protect themselves or their livelihood the Government will spring into action with their lawyers at their side to punish these people.
“Between myself and colleagues Shane Knuth and Nick Dametto, we will be attending all of the public hearings on the Safer Waterways Bill this week.’’