Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s new Queensland Crocodile Management Plan as a step backwards for the safety of North Queenslanders and a lost opportunity to establish a new crocodile egg harvesting industry.
Mr Cripps said Environment Minister, Steven Miles, needed to refund North Queensland taxpayers the $5.8 million he has spent counting crocodiles and reviewing the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan for the last two years, because they have not received value for money.
“After two years taking glamour shots of himself in 12 foot tinnies, Steven Miles has produced a more complicated, less flexible plan for local communities to manage problem crocodiles and the adoption of some bizarre management practices that defy common sense” said Mr Cripps.
“The former LNP Government introduced a three zone management framework with local crocodile plans developed by local communities – Labor has actually increased the number of zones to six and created a single crocodile management plan that covers the entire state” he said.
“The only people these new arrangements will benefit is Steven Miles and his bureaucrats in Brisbane, not the people of North Queensland who understand what is going on with the increasing crocodile population and the impact it is having on public safety and our community”.
“You have to wonder who put this plan together when the stated management strategy in Zone D will be to encourage large crocodiles to move on from beaches areas – fair dinkum, what is Steven Miles going to do, stand at the high tide mark waving his arms to shoo them away?”.
Mr Cripps said he was amazed the Palaszczuk Labor Government had undertaken a two year review of Queensland’s Crocodile Management Plan and completely failed to progress the development of any framework for the establishment of a crocodile egg harvesting industry.
“A sustainable crocodile egg harvesting industry has existed in the Northern Territory for many years and Queenslanders will be shocked to learn that Queensland crocodile farms actually import crocodile eggs into Queensland from the Northern Territory – that’s crazy stuff”.
“The establishment of a regulated crocodile egg harvesting industry in North Queensland would be a new commercial opportunity for the region, as well as being a simple, sensible, balanced approach to controlling the wild crocodile population to improve community safety”.
Mr Cripps said when Labor commenced the review of Queensland’s Crocodile Management Plan in March 2015, he had warned the North Queensland community that the Palaszczuk Government was more concerned about their links to the green movement than public safety.