Category Archives: crocodiles
After four years of blissful ignorance the Queensland Liberal Party spokesman for the Environment David Crisafulli has finally woken up to the crocodile menace in North Queensland.
He obviously has been listening to Katters Australian Party Member for Hill Shane Knuth who has championed human rights over animal rights by wanting to eradicate dangerous saurians across the north.
God help us, crocodiles could also provide economic benefits for indigenous people of the forgotten north.
Crisafulli told the ABC in Cairns today he now believes something should be done about the explosion of crocodiles in the north.
Perhaps the Townsville floods which saw dozens of large salties roaming along roads, under houses and in backyards terrifying flood victims and their rescuers gave him and the hopeless Liberals a pang of conscience.
He says there should be no safari hunting or “nonsense like that” which might give “a few people a nice warm and fuzzy feeling.”
Tell that to the several thousand people who live in communities on Cape York Mr Crisafulli who are threatened by monster crocs on a daily basis.
These languishing people would be most grateful for an industry of any kind.
Mr Crisafulli has no idea that traditional hunting rights allow indigenous people to take crocodiles for meat and skins and there is not a thing his urbane political party can do about it.
If community members conducted guided hunting of large crocs a new and viable tourist industry would emerge from the economic doldrums of Cape York.
Unfortunately the Liberal Party, like Labor has its head stuck up its South East rear end and can’t see the forest for the trees, of which there are many millions on Cape York.
Is it any wonder the Queensland Liberal Party will never again rule the state in its own right.
KAP State Member for Hill Shane Knuth has again called for the State Government to ‘get real’ on crocodile management following the release of the 2017 Queensland Crocodile Management Update.
“Today’s announcement reaffirms there is a croc issue in North Queensland,’’ Mr Knuth said.
“The Government is reluctant to make the tough decisions because keeping southern votes is more important to them than protecting the life and livelihood of North Queenslanders.”
The Government’s update showed a spike in the number of crocodile sightings, jumping to 684 in 2017 compared to 378 in 2016 and just 176 in 2010.
“This is triple the sightings reported from seven years ago and an 80% increase in sightings from 2016,’’ he said.
“Those are extraordinary numbers and any sane person would argue it represents a large increase in crocodile numbers. Most people I speak to in the region tell me they don’t even bother reporting sightings anymore as nothing gets done, so that increase is only the tip of the iceberg.’’
Mr Knuth said most North Queenslanders were sick and tired of the glossy, political speak from the Government and Minister Enoch’s assertion ‘the Government is confident that Queensland’s approach to crocodile management is sound.’
“Obviously the reality is the exact opposite,” Mr Knuth said.
“When we have tourism bodies such as TTNQ and TPDD warning of the effects on the tourism industry because of increased activity of crocodiles and the Government’s own report showing staggering increases in sightings, it begs the question – why isn’t the Government acting?”
He said the provision of funding for drones to Surf Life Saving Queensland was a welcome addition to the organisation, but is not the solution to crocodile management or reducing the instances of sightings and beach closures.
“It is great for SLSQ to have access to this technology, but it doesn’t solve the root of the problem,” Mr Knuth said.
“We shouldn’t accept the increasing number of beach closures or beach sightings, as crocs shouldn’t be there in the first place. A zero tolerance policy regarding crocodiles on our beaches and in surrounding waterways, will drastically reduce the threat and allow our life savers to use this technology more effectively in patrolling stretches of beach not normally patrolled.’’
from Jim O’Toole
The Queensland Police Service, under pressure from the Labor Party is attempting to crucify a 69 year old Cairns resident, Errol Copley, for catching a 3 metre crocodile on a 68lb mackerel fishing line. The croc eventually died.
Wildlife officers from the Environment Department came across the dead croc when looking for ‘illegal’ fish nets in a creek running through Mr Copley’s farm at Deeral, south of Cairns
The officers set up a covert camera which caught Mr Copley disposing of the dead croc on January 18.
He was subsequently fined $500 in the Cairns Magistrates Court.
Mr Copley said he had no intention of catching such a large croc on a set, light line but due to its short length the croc was unable to return to the water after the hook pierced the gut wall and lodged in the reptile’s heart.
The semi-retired cane farmer and commercial fisherman removes mangrove shoots on mud flats near the Cairns Esplanade as a part-time job.
Police want to make an example of Mr Copley by dragging him back to the Magistrates Court arguing his original $500 fine and no conviction would not deter farmers from slaughtering crocs.
Police and the Labor Party’s environment department want the fine increased to $7000.
Herein lies Mr Copley’s defence.
Ever since former Premier Peter Beattie in 2001 unlawfully altered the Queensland Constitution by copyrighting Acts of Parliament to himself including the Public Service Act and removing the Queen, public servants are now responsible only to political party corporations.
Police, employed by the corporation and held to the Public Service Act since then have been unlawfully operating as judge, jury and executioner. Demanding any penalty is unlawful.
A Magistrate sitting in an unconstitutional court can determine the amount of a fine however Mr Copley would be foolish if he paid it.
The corporate State Labor government and its public servants are so far out of touch they have no idea how many crocs have been killed over the past decade by fed-up farmers, fishermen, Aborigines and tourists.
Anecdotal evidence would suggest many hundreds of crocs are killed each year across the north yet their numbers have exploded in places where the dangerous saurians have never been seen before.
Cairns News encourages farmers to rid the rivers of ferocious salt water crocodiles by whatever means possible.
The police allege Mr Copley’s crime was serious because the death occurred “over a prolonged period” and taking the carcass exasperated the offence.
Mr Copley said he removed the dead croc and performed an autopsy so he could get his hook back.
Why would he leave a dead croc in a waterway to pollute the water?
Well done Mr Copley you have performed an honourable public safety service. – Cairns News editorial board.
A reader has offered a reward for the identities of the rats who dobbed in the croc shooter. Cairnsnews suggests Mr Orchard should not pay this extortion to a Marxist government which places animal lives ahead of humans.
KAP State Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has pledged to make the first donation to the Go Fund Me page of the Rockhampton man fined $10,000 for shooting a crocodile.
Today in Rockhampton Court, Luke Orchard was handed a $10,000 fine by Magistrate Jeffery Clarke but had not conviction recorded over the shooting of a monster crocodile near Rockhampton last year.
Mr Katter spoke to Mr Orchard’s father Phil, this afternoon reaffirming the KAP’s commitment to put people before crocs in Queensland while also pledging to support the Go Fund Me page out of his…..
“We remain committed to creating safer waterways for Queenslanders,’’ Mr Katter said.
“People have been crying out for help to deal with the expanding crocodile problem. Unfortunately, as a result people are forced to take desperate measures to ensure the safety of themselves and their family and to protect their livelihood.
“This is what happens when the Government doesn’t act.’’
Phil Orchard said his son had been shaken up by the incident and was very remorseful.
“I agree with the Katter’s Australian Party in that some sort of crocodile control should be introduced, not necessarily culling, but something to manage the numbers,’’ Phil Orchard said.
“My son and I go out every day and count the calves, we know we are losing lots of calves to the crocs every year. We see the cows pacing along the river bank bellowing and looking for their calves which have been taken.’’
KAP Member for Hill Shane Knuth, who introduced the Safer Waterways Bill into the previous Queensland Parliament, said he would reintroduce the Bill during the current Parliament.
“It’s disappointing that people feel that the government is doing nothing and frustrating them to a point they are taking matters into their own hands,’’ Mr Knuth said.
“This is state-wide issue and as such should be dealt with by the Queensland Labor Government. We don’t need another study, people want our waterways safe now.’’
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.’’
from the Guardian
A massive saltwater crocodile – said to be one of the biggest ever seen in Queensland – has been found shot dead in the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton.
Police and state environmental officers are investigating after the 5.2-metre male reptile was found with a bullet in its head in the Fitzroy river in Rockhampton on Thursday.
The crocodile was taken to the nearby Koorana crocodile farm, where it will be buried once a necropsy is carried out. Farm owner John Leaver said a five-metre crocodile had not been caught in Queensland for 20 to 30 years.
“There may have been some others shot in the wild that we don’t know about, but from my recollection, over the past three decades this would be the largest,” he said on Friday.
Leaver, who ran a crocodile removal service across the state for 20 years, said the largest one he ever caught was 4.95m in the late 1980s. “We caught that one up near Airlie beach [in Queensland],” he said.
Leaver said it was not unusual for a crocodile of that size to be found so far south. The farmer said Rockhampton locals used to shoot crocodiles “equal to that size” in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, before it was illegal.
It is believed the 5.2m reptile had been dead for a few days before a member of the public spotted it floating and notified environmental officers.
Leaver said the gunshot had caused a large hole in the top of the saltwater crocodile’s skull, suggesting the bullet came from a “fairly large-calibre rifle”.
“I would say that someone felt very threatened,” he said, when asked why he thought it had been shot.
Innisfail man charged with shooting a croc
A north Queensland man has been charged with killing and decapitating a crocodile to keep its skull as a trophy.
The crocodile skull was allegedly found during a raid of a home at Eubenangee, north of Innisfail in the state’s far north, on 1 June.
The environment and heritage protection department is still working to confirm if the crocodile skull came from the carcass of a four-metre crocodile that was found dead on a creek bed on a private property at Innisfail in April.
The man has been charged with a number of offences, including taking a protected animal, as well as weapons and drugs offences.
The maximum penalty for killing a crocodile without authorisation is $27,425.
The 60-year-old is due to face Innisfail magistrates court on 10 July.
Cairns News has been told by indigenous people of several large crocs living near the tip of Cape York that are more than 5.2 metres in length. The Mareeba crocodile farm has at least one croc measuring 5 metres in captivity. Aboriginal communities on both the east coast and west coast of Cape York report large crocodiles menacing their communities.
Recently a dog was grabbed on mudflats near Daintree. The owner was next to the dog when the 4.5m croc, camouflaged in mud, grabbed the unlucky canine and the lucky owner nearly had a heart attack.
We have had numerous reports of crocs that have been shot in the north over the past 12 months. The hopeless and stupefied LNP and ALP have thrown the people of the north to the crocs, by holding up the Katter’s Safer Waterways bill. We say we don’t blame fed-up people shooting crocs. We also say the corporation has no power to prosecute a citizen.
It is a puerile argument to expect the understaffed, under-resourced and uncaring EPA to respond to a crocodile sighting or facilitate their removal, by any means.
Letter to editor
Mrs Terri Irwin from Australia Zoo near Weipa has placed the lives of salt water crocodiles above that of people.
It’s a fact the government purchased a Cape York property for $6 million to hand over to Australia Zoo some years ago.
But how can Mrs Irwin place animal lives over humans?
I have been told by tourists who visited Australia Zoo near Weipa, Mrs Irwin’s wildlife officers have tagged more than 130 saltwater crocodiles in a short stretch of the Wenlock River.
The river ecology simply cannot tolerate such a high incidence of estuarine crocodiles. Soon these crocs will start preying on each other because the fish population and any other animals on the croc menu will have been eaten out.
Indigenous people have told me there are far too many saltwater crocs and fish numbers have been seriously depleted in Peninsula waterways because of the explosion in numbers.
Mrs Irwin said on radio that more croc warning signs needed to be erected on beaches and at airports and schools should educate children that they can no longer go near any water anywhere in the north.
How does Mrs Irwin expect tourist operators to promote beaches and rivers for swimming and fishing when it is too dangerous to go near the water? What about the life savers?
Do indigenous people get a say over croc management? After all most of the crocs live in rivers and creeks on Aboriginal controlled land and coastal waterways north of Townsville.
Why does Mrs Irwin who does not live in North Queensland feel she should have more say than indigenous and local residents over croc management?
The ALP and LNP refuse to fast track KAP Safe Waterways legislation that will help protect tourists and northern inhabitants from attacks.
Twenty years ago we did not have this problem in the north.
How many more people and animals need to be devoured by the large, rapacious crocodile population before the party duopoly wakes up?
Gordon Rasmussen, KAP candidate for Cook
Young dog taken by huge croc near Innisfail
Two days after a huge crocodile devoured a six-month-old puppy in North Queensland, the major parties have refused to declare KAP’s Safer Waterways bill as urgent.
KAP’s Shane Knuth today sought leave to fast track the Safer Waterways bill so it could be voted on by October. Labor and the LNP ganged up to block Shane’s request, meaning Queensland will have to wait until at least the end of March next year for a vote.
In seeking leave, Shane read out a letter from a constituent (who did not want to be named):
“We live on the banks of the South Johnstone River in Mourilyan, North Queensland. On Tuesday afternoon we lost our six-month-old purebred white Sheppard to a very large crocodile. As we live very close to the river our dog had gone down to the water’s edge, failing to call her up to our yard we went down to try and get her when the crocodile just so quietly grabbed her and took her into the water. This was absolutely terrifying for both my partner and myself as we weren’t aware it was there and it could easily have been us.
About half hour or so after our puppy was taken on Tuesday, we were sitting there looking over the river when another two crocs showed up! It was like feeding time at the zoo.
Please help us to do something about these monsters, we need dogs for security reasons, but it’s simply too dangerous for them and traumatic for us.”
It’s the second puppy they’ve lost to a crocodile on their property in less than a year.
Shane Knuth introduced the Safer Waterways bill on 25 May. The legislation would make it mandatory for rogue crocodiles to be removed from populated Queensland waterways. It would also empower landowners to manage crocodiles on their own land.
“I cannot believe that Labor and the LNP don’t think this urgent,” Shane said. “This is clearly a safety issue. This family’s puppy being eaten on Tuesday is not an isolated incident.”
Shane tabled four news articles from the last 12 months; Croc kills family dog in Innisfail; Croc kills spear fisherman in Palmer point; Croc kills tourist at Thornton Beach; Report confirms that Queensland’s saltwater crocodile populations are rising.
“If someone else is killed by a crocodile, the government and LNP will have a lot of explaining to do. We need to act now,” Shane said.
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.
A cane harvesting contractor had to prise open the jaws of a salt water crocodile with a large spanner to remove the hand of a worker who attempted to move the 1.4 metre reptile from a cane paddock.
The attack occurred Sunday at a Peters Road farm, three kilometres from the Mareeba CBD when company work place safety officer Daryl Bell was called by a harvesting machine operator to capture the croc and tape its jaws before removing it.
The injured animal “latched onto my hand puncturing my thumb and fingers and it would not let go,” Mr Bell said.
“The operator grabbed the tail and I grabbed the jaws but its skin started to peel off, I lost my grip and it grabbed my hand.
“Its teeth went right through my thumb nail and a finger.
“I felt sorry for the croc because it had been burnt and I had no intention of hurting it.”
Mr Bell was taken to Mareeba Hospital to get treatment and was released after his hand had been bandaged and treated to prevent infection.
Owner of Harvest Mareeba, Bruce Craven said he prised open the animal’s jaws to remove Mr Bell’s hand.
Threats of prosecution made by Environment and Heritage Protection officers to local farmers should they interfere with crocodiles, led Mr Craven to contact the department in Cairns for advice about the injured reptile.
He said it took more than two hours to get an officer on the phone.
“They told us to take it to a vet who then euthanized it,” he said.
Mr Craven said the croc had been burnt the previous day in a cane fire and was not discovered until the machine operator saw it while he was harvesting standing cane.
“Having crocodiles in a cane paddock places my men in a dangerous situation and this croc should not have been in the cane.
“They are not supposed to be on the Tablelands,” Mr Craven said.
“Children ride bikes along this road next to the irrigation channel where the crocs live.
“The EHP has been contacted in the past about removing crocs from this area but they refuse to do anything about the danger.”
Julatten cane harvesting contractor Gordon Rasmussen, the Katters Australian Party candidate for Cook, was at the scene and was critical of the State Government for “dragging its feet”, trying to prevent the KAP’s ‘Safe Waterways’ legislation from being introduced into Parliament before the upcoming election.
“Shane Knuth (Member for Dalrymple) has the bill ready to go so we can do something about controlling the explosion of crocs in the Mareeba area and throughout the north,” Mr Rasmussen said.
“There should be no salt water crocodiles on the Tablelands and here we have a serious incident that has been reported to the Workplace Health and Safety Department by medical authorities because this was a work place accident.
“The State Government seems quite happy for farmers to be attacked by crocs and I can understand why farmers are reluctant to remove dangerous crocs because the Environment Department will chase them through the courts for a $25,000 fine.
“Mr Knuth said he will try to have the bill debated and passed in August.
“We have to do something now.”