Crocs putting the bite on nippers
November 16, 2017 – The number of life savers available to patrol Port Douglas beaches will continue to fall because parents are no longer enrolling their children in Nipper programs for fear they will become victims of a crocodile attack.
State KAP Leader Robbie Katter and Michael Bolt, vice president of the Port Douglas Surf Life Saving Club were united in their call for immediate action on the growing crocodile menace.
“This is the tip of the iceberg of the unforeseen repercussions due to the expanding territories crocs are claiming which are impacting on North Queensland communities,’’ Robbie said.
“Less life savers patrolling beaches, tourism numbers dropping, loss of the Northern Queensland lifestyle and water sports operators suffering business downturns, all due to government inaction on removing crocodiles.
“It’s not rocket science.’’
Mr Bolt said a 20 per cent drop in Nipper members at the Port Douglas S.L.S.C also meant less parents were available to help patrol beaches.
“The same problems are being experienced at Port Douglas, Ellis Beach, Mission Beach and in Cairns. Parents are telling us that 100 per cent the reason they are not enrolling their kids in Nipper programs is due to fear of a crocodile attack.
“When we get to the stage there are not enough people to patrol the beaches the club will have to fold – that’s not good for community water safety.
“We have had to close Port Douglas Beach seven times in the past year due to crocodile sightings. The numbers seem to be increasing every year. Five years ago we didn’t have this problem at all.’’
Robbie Katter said commitment to the KAP’s croc solution would be a condition of support for either major party to form Government.
“This is a priority issue for all members of the KAP. We’re a regionally focused party and we’re sick of seeing our lifestyles and the safety of our people undermined by decisions made in Brisbane,” Robbie said.
KAP Member for Dalrymple and candidate for Hill Shane Knuth said the Safer Waterways Bill may set a new record for being the longest bill ever debated.
“We introduced this bill in parliament in May. I would have thought the government and the opposition would have wanted to get the bill through quickly so it’s benefits become tangible and people can be protected,’’ he said.
“Instead they used their numbers in parliament to ensure debate was put out until 2018.’’
KAP candidate for Cook Gordon Rasmussen said the people of Cook wanted actions, not counts.
“People need to come before crocodiles – whether they are lifesavers or the general public, their safety is not negotiable.’’