Dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay
Dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay Contributed

Council says 'ban the ban'

GYMPIE Region councillors this week unanimously backed continued dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay.

But they went one step further than other pro-feeding advocates.

They called for an end to any of the limits which the government wants to place on 'recruitment' of new dolphins.

One councillor expressed concern for the safety of dolphins at the centre of the debate and the long-running practice of feeding them.

"If the existing dolphins disappear or are killed, we need it to be able to recommence," said Cr Jan Watt.

This would not be possible under the government's apparently favoured Option One, in the Marine Mammal Legislation review.

Although touted as a means of allowing dolphin feeding to continue, it would "by definition cease the program once those individuals are gone."

The review is being conducted by the Department of Environment and Resource Management, which has effectively ruled out the other two options - which would allow limited recruitment of other dolphins - saying these options had 'no advantages.'

Councillors at the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday unanimously authorised a submission backing a modified version of one of the pro-recruitment options, with the removal of 'any restriction on numbers being recruited.' We struggle with the word 'limited'- how it would be interpreted and enforced," council planning director Michael Hartley said.

"If three dolphins come in, who's going to stand there and tell one to shove off?" asked Mayor Ron Dyne.

Gympie Times

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