The State Government will introduce amended crocodile management measures in the Douglas Shire after representations from Council.
The new measures will see all crocodiles larger than two metres or displaying aggressive behaviour regardless of size targeted for removal off Four Mile Beach under a more stringent Targeted Beach Management Zone and the Mossman River upstream of Foxton Bridge, Shannonvale Causeway and Spring Creek upstream of the causeway under the Targeted Management Zone.
The area around Newell Beach’s Rankin St boat ramp and Ferndale Lake in Port Douglas will also be rezoned to Targeted Management Zones to remove all crocodiles larger than two metres or displaying aggressive behaviour regardless of size.
The State Government will also provide the necessary training to Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers from Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation so they can assist the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection by collecting information on the presence and behaviour of reported crocodiles.
Mayor Julia Leu welcomed the news and congratulated the State Government for listening to the community’s concerns.
“Regardless of what zone an area is in you can never be complacent in Far North Queensland waters due to the presence of crocodiles but these changes certainly give our communities more comfort that large and aggressive crocodiles in these areas will be targeted for removal,” Mayor Leu said.
“I’m very grateful that Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Dr Steven Miles took the time to discuss this issue with me personally when I raised Council’s concerns with the new Crocodile Management Plan and has followed through with his Department to ensure more stringent measures are implemented in the Douglas Shire.
“There is no doubt that crocodiles have increased in numbers and size in areas of the Douglas Shire where previously they were not an issue and I’m particularly pleased the Minister has listened to our request for local indigenous rangers be trained so they can help manage the problem.”
Mayor Leu said Council’s calls for a rezoning of Cooya, Newell, Oak and Wonga Beaches as well as the boat ramp at Rocky Point and a number of information beach areas in the Douglas Shire have not been incorporated into the changes however Council remains committed to working with the Department on crocodile management in these locations.
“Council is committed to working with the State Government to employ a range of strategies so that residents and tourists can continue to enjoy these beaches and waterway areas,” Mayor Leu said.
“We will work with the Department to reduce the risk to public safety by implementing education programs to ensure people stay safe at these beaches and encourage residents and tourists to report crocodile sightings in a timely manner so officers can respond,” Mayor Leu said.
To report crocodile sightings in these areas by calling the CrocWise hotline on 1300 130 372.