Surf Life Saving Queensland boss says swimmers not safe from crocodile attack
A warning now amplified by the apparent death of an elderly lady at Port Douglas -- apparently the result of a croc attack.
And what is this nonsense about relocating them? Relocating them to zoos does stop them but relocating them to other areas and releasing them is a crock (Pun admitted). They just swim back to their old stamping ground. One croc that was relocated to the Western side of Cape York peninsula swam back all the way around Cape York to his old habitat well South on the East coast -- a journey of perhaps 1,000 km
A SURF Life Saving boss is warning swimmers they should no longer feel safe in some of our most popular waterways — as crocodile numbers keep rising.
A SURF Life Saving Queensland boss says swimmers can no longer feel safe in the state’s waterways due to the increased threat of crocodile attack.
SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill yesterday told a public hearing into Katter’s Australia Party’s proposed Safer Waterways Bill there was a growing risk to both Surf Life Saving staff and the general public at Queensland beaches.
“We have seen a growing trend and a higher risk to our community,” he said. “The reality is that there’s tourists sunbaking and there’s crocodiles (basking) less than 30m apart. “It’s a risk that has the potential to have a catastrophic result for the community.”
The revelation comes after The Courier-Mail this week revealed crocodile sightings in the state have increased by more than 38 per cent in the past two years.
Mr Hill said while the service did not support killing crocodiles, it did want to see them removed from popular swimming areas.
“Both those levels (life guards and life savers) have identified a trend of seeing larger crocodiles in what we call public space, waterways where people can frequent. And when I say larger crocodiles, over the past five years the trend has certainly grown to see 3m to 4m crocodiles.
“(This) is in public spaces such as Port Douglas Beach, Four Mile Beach, there was one there last week that we closed the beach for, Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Forest Beach in Ingham, Townsville’s Strand.”
Mr Hill said members were becoming hesitant to patrol waterways north of Townsville and that he was particularly concerned for the safety of SLSQ staff manning stinger nets in north Queensland.
“Unfortunately crocodiles can enter those (nets) and ... we have situations where every morning in summer our lifesavers and lifeguards will drag those nets for stingers.
“But they’re going in knowing there may or may not be a crocodile in there.”
Mr Hill said he supported changes to the state’s crocodile management plan if it meant safer waterways for swimmers.
“We need to protect our environment but certainly we need to protect the public and our users and future surf life savers and people that frequent our waters,” he said.
“While we don’t want to see the crocs harmed in any way, we certainly do support the removal of any crocodile that’s in a public space that could be a risk to anyone in the community whether it’s a bite or a fatal attack.”
The proposed KAP Bill would introduce a number of new measures including controlled crocodile culls and egg harvesting.
A spokesman for Australia Zoo also spoke at the hearing and slammed the Bill saying it was poorly researched and would not make waterways any safer.
“This legislation will be disastrous for humans and for crocodiles,” he said. “The environmental research has been basic and sketchy.”