SIGNIFICANT BREAKTHROUGH IN REMOVING CROCODILES FROM MAREEBA AREA
At a Mareeba Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday , Environment and Heritage Protection Chief Prosecutions officer David Cook, agreed to remove all crocodiles from the Mareeba area after positive sightings had been confirmed by the department. Helicopter surveillance would begin starting July 24, 2017, Mr Cook said.
He agreed to give local crocodile farm owner Juergen Arnold a permit, allowing him to remove crocodiles from the area for relocation to his croc farm.
“Mr Arnold will be handed a permit this weekend,” Mr Cook told the meeting.
After the meeting Mr Cook admitted, following Australia-wide publicity, the attack on a cane worker had brought the crocodile plague in the Mareeba farming district to a head.
The aerial surveillance would initially be carried out over one day, but Mr Cook said officers would respond immediately to any sightings. The EHP officers agreed if a crocodile could not be trapped or caught and transported to a croc farm it would be culled.
The Safer Waterways bill, designed to remove crocs from populated areas and tabled by Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth, is before the Environment Committee for consideration.
Mr Knuth however, fears the Labor Government will attempt to delay its passage until after the upcoming state election.
“I intend to move a motion at the next sittings to have the bill debated. We can’t afford any more accidents like the Mareeba attack,” Mr Knuth said.