CONTROVERSIAL law changes could see fines handed out to people getting too close to crocodile warning signs while just going about their business, according to Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader Nick Dametto.
The Queensland Government is considering a proposal brought forward by conservationists after a crocodile was euthanised after attacking a man and his dog in the Bloomfield River.
The current lack of penalties for ignoring a crocodile warning signs or engaging in risky behaviour around crocodiles prevented any charges being laid against the man whose dog was killed in the attack.
However Mr Dametto said the new laws had potential to make criminals out of just about anyone in North Queensland.
“Just about any publicly accessible place with water in North Queensland is covered by a crocodile warning sign,” he said.
“In Ingham, these suggested laws would mean people could potentially be fined every time they launch their boat, walk through the scenic TYTO Wetlands or even walk to the local high school that is located next to a waterway.”
Mr Dametto has labelled the suggested laws “unintelligent” and believes they place the value of crocodile life above human life.
“Once again, we’re seeing the value of crocodile life placed above the value of human life,” he said.
“Rather than manage the out-of-control crocodile population, we have a government that would rather punish humans innocently going about their business.”
The Queensland Government would determine whether or not a person’s actions were reckless enough to warrant being fined however Mr Dametto said he doesn’t trust the government’s “common sense” and disrection.
“The powers that be will try to convince the public that common sense and discretion will apply to these laws should they be passed, but I think we’ve all been around long enough to know that when it comes to government, common sense never prevails,” he said.
Mr Dametto firmly believes the only way to reduce crocodile attacks is to control the crocodile population, particularly in areas close to where humans live or frequently visit, such as local waterways and beaches.
“KAP will be introducing our Crocodile Control and Conservation Bill 2023 before the end of this term that paves the way for safe and sustainable crocodile control,” he said.
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