Coalition targets turtle and dugong 'poaching'

Coalition targets turtle and dugong 'poaching'

The Coalition says in government, it would order an Australian Crime Commission investigation into claims of turtle and dugong poaching.

Allegations of foreign and domestic turtle and dugong poaching would be the target of a $2 million Australian Crime Commission investigation, under a Coalition government.


The policy focuses on Queensland, particularly the Torres Strait, and claims of illegal hunting by Indonesian and Papua New Guinean fishermen.


Penalties for illegal domestic catches and trading of meat will be tripled and will apply across Australia.


However, Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt told Stefan Armbruster there are no plans to amend the Native Title Act that permits traditional hunting by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.


(And Labor's Environment minister Mark Butler was unavailable for an interview.


However, a spokesperson told SBS, the Coalition policy is culturally insensitive and ignores work by traditional owner groups in north Queensland to preserve the species.


The spokesperson says Labor has no specific election policy on turtles and dugongs, but funding for a $7 million indigenous turtle and dugong self-management program would continue under a Labor government).


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