CROCODILES will be culled under a controversial ‘shoot to kill’ plan focusing on public safety and the reputation of Queensland’s tourism industry, if North Queensland’s newest political party secures the balance of power at the State Election on October 31.
NQ First Leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said the policy provided a “North and Far North Queensland solution to a North and Far North Queensland problem” whilst also providing significant employment and economic opportunities, particularly for indigenous people.
“We can either pussyfoot around or take decisive action in boosting community safety in North, Far North and Central Queensland and at that same time, tell those politicians down south to butt out,” he said, referring to the major parties and their lacklustre approach to the issue.
“If there is a crocodile on one of our beaches in a populated area, perhaps a tourist spot or in a swimming hole or where workers are at risk of being attacked, it’ll be shot by a licensed contractor whose job it will be to go in and deal with the problem as a matter of urgency – in stark contrast to the current approach by Labor and the alternative from the LNP.
“We cannot afford to have departmental people getting a phone call about a crocodile, then getting to the location a few hours later, putting up signs and then taking weeks and possibly months to catch these monsters. We need swift action and that includes shooting these maneaters that continue to grow in numbers after they were protected in Queensland in 1974.”
Mr Costigan said NQ First wanted to see a fully-fledged croc industry established, similar to the Northern Territory, that incorporated the harvesting of eggs, the increased use of crocodile meat in restaurants and the manufacturing of leather products.
“In the wake of COVID-19, we could get this industry going and that could be especially good for indigenous people who have a role to play here, which is something that has come up in policy discussions with Desmond Tayley, our NQ First candidate for Cook, who spent two decades in local government and can see employment and economic opportunities for his people,” he said.
“In the event of a fatal attack in a populated area or tourism hotspot, it would be brand ‘Queensland’ that would take an absolute hammering – whether it’s Airlie Beach in my electorate or Port Douglas in the Cook electorate. We’d all suffer the consequences. You may as well tell all those destination marketing people to take a year off because they’d be wasting their time.
“Ultimately, NQ First is offering a North and Far North Queensland solution to a North and Far North Queensland problem and that solution is a sustainable culling program, if we secure the balance of power on October 31. It’s all well protecting the crocs but what about the people?”