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Terri Irwin should leave croc management to locals

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

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