A crocodile swallows a piece of chicken at the Koorana Crocodile Farm.
A crocodile swallows a piece of chicken at the Koorana Crocodile Farm. Chris Ison ROK211016ccroc5

Croc report reveals little support for crocodile cull

JUST 15% of Queenslanders support widespread crocodile removal across urban areas, undermining calls by the LNP for a crocodile cull, according to Environment Minister Steven Miles.

However, 72% support removing aggressive or dangerous crocodiles from urban areas.

The results are from consultation undertaken as part of the Government's review of crocodile management in Queensland, which reached a milestone with the release of results to Councils.

Dr Miles said the findings in the consultation report would now form the basis for further discussions with councils before any changes were made to current crocodile management arrangements.

"The report, which has been delivered to councils this week, contains the results of a public survey in relation to crocodile management and also the findings of the extensive direct discussions between the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and key stakeholders,"Dr Miles said.

"It's clear that there is a wide range of views on crocodile management within the community and also among local authorities, Surf Life Saving Queensland, tourism operators and conservation groups.

"This is not surprising given the complexity of the issue and I'm determined that all views will be considered before any changes are made to the current policy in 2017."

The results of the consultation indicated widespread support for crocodile management arrangements, with some local governments requesting minor variations to management zone boundaries.

Respondents also suggested improvements in the way information about crocodile management is communicated to the public and key stakeholders.

Other results of the direct consultation with key stakeholders indicated: 

  • concerns that crocodile removal creates an unrealistic expectation of safety in some parts of the community
  • requests for more comprehensive information to be supplied to councils and Surf Life Saving Queensland groups about the presence of crocodiles and how they are being managed, and
  • that crocodiles are highly valued as an attraction for tourists, but that tourists are also at significant risk.

The results of the survey of the general community indicated: 

  • Half of respondents support the notion that crocodile management must be a balance of conservation and public safety.
  • Support amongst residents in northern Queensland for removal of aggressive and dangerous crocodiles around urban areas was 76% and support for removal of larger crocodiles around urban areas was 47%.
  • Across Queensland, 28% of respondents did not support the removal of aggressive crocodiles around urban areas, and 32% believed that crocodile management should be based heavily on conservation, indicating a preference for removal of fewer crocodiles.
  • Approximately 15% of respondents support the widespread removal of crocodiles around urban areas.
  • Respondents living near crocodiles had a relatively good knowledge of how to keep themselves safe from crocodiles.

Dr Miles said further consultation to discuss the detail of the findings would begin immediately, with EHP wildlife officers due to attend a meeting with Douglas Shire Council on Wednesday, 2 November. 

"I welcome the discussion among North Queensland communities about public safety and crocodiles and I want to make sure that community views are properly considered during this review process,"he said. 

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the Palaszczuk Government was determined to secure both public safety and conservation of the species - while acknowledging that tourism-related factors also need to be considered. 

Mr Crawford said he was pleased to see strong support from stakeholders for the crocodile survey monitoring program, which will establish better information on crocodile numbers and inform future management and conservation approaches. 

"There are anecdotal reports that crocodile numbers are on the increase, but we need to know whether that's actually the case, which is why the population study is so important," Mr Crawford said. 

"Public education will always be paramount and, regardless of any future changes to crocodile management policy, the key message will always be that no waterway should ever be considered to be free of crocodiles in croc country". 

Members of the public are urged to be CrocWise. In particular:

  • Obey croc warning signs
  • Don't swim or let domestic pets swim in waters where crocs may live
  • Be aware that crocodiles also swim in the ocean
  • Stand back from the water when fishing or cast netting
  • Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, a camp site or boat ramp
  • Never interfere with or fish or boat near crocodile traps, and
  • Always supervise children
  • Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country. 

Further information on being CrocWise is available at

http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/livingwith/crocodiles/crocodiles__be_croc_wise.html. 

Crocodile sightings can be reported to EHP on 1300 130 372 and the department investigates all crocodile reports it receives. 



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