• 3.9m crocodile trapped by departmental wildlife officersin the Johnstone River (QLD), after a teenager was mauled by the reptile in March 2017. (AAP Image/Department of Environment and Heritage Protection QLD)Source: AAP Image/Department of Environment and Heritage Protection QLD
One Nation says it will establish 'crocodile ranches' across Queensland if it is elected to govern at the next state election.
Claudianna Blanco

21 Apr 2017 - 2:48 PM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 2:49 PM

State party leader Steve Dickson said the reptiles were no longer endangered and it was time to turn them into a commercial business to curb growing numbers.

"In north Queensland, every time the flooding rains come, half of the crocodile eggs are drowned and they just go to waste," he said at a policy announcement on the Sunshine Coast on Friday.

"We want to work hand-in-glove with Indigenous communities to be able to collect those eggs and start crocodile farms throughout Queensland for commercial purposes so they can have their own businesses."

Mr Dickson said the party would enforce the humane euthanasia or relocation of problem crocodiles to commercial farms if they were "harassing" local communities.

"We will always put people's lives and the tourism industry before crocodiles," he said.

"We've got tourism areas where tourists are being forced out ... by these dangerous crocodiles."

Mr Dickson also accused Katter's Australian Party of taking One Nation's crocodile policy.

But Gangalidda Chairman, Murranddo Bulanyi Yanner, told NITV News recently that Katter’s safari idea originally came from him. He claims he told the politician about his vision for an Indigenous-led sustainable, ‘green safari’ that could become a world-first.

He says the safari “should only occur if Traditional Owners are at the wheel, controlling it and owning it.”

“Traditional Owners from the north are the best [people] to manage the whole thing. It’s not just about money. We have a relationship with the animal too,” he explained.

He says crocodiles at the moment are not present in great numbers, so a cull isn’t necessary – and he only condones hunting the animal if there are legitimate reasons.

“We need scientific research to establish the population in certain creeks and rivers, and only then you can come up with a suitable quota that could be hunted without affecting the population and keeping it sustainable,” he said.

“Safari hunting is ok for those crocs displaying rogue behaviour towards stalking humans.”

Katter’s croc safari could be a world model if done right, says Traditional Owner
As the Katter Australia Party (KAP) tours Far North Queensland to engage in consultations and advocate for their plans for crocodile culling, Gangalidda Chairman, Murranddo Bulanyi Yanner, says it’s an opportunity to create a world-model ‘green safari’.

Mr Yanner also explained that crocodiles are totemic and spiritual animals in some tribes, so not all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are able to kill them.

He said it’s preferable for hunters to come and pay big money to harpoon the animal, immobilize it, and let it go. This would enable tourists to experience going on a hunt, and would let rangers do their research. After the ordeal, the crocodile would become so afraid of humans, they wouldn’t dare come near people again.

“The hunter can get their picture; Traditional Owners and rangers can do their research on the croc, measure it and scientifically record it. No harm done.

“Immobilizing a powerful animal like a croc is difficult and dangerous. A hunter who has gone through that two to three-hour experience will find it exciting. There’s payment and the creature will be afraid of humans forever.”

In cases where there is a legitimate reason for culling, then “Traditional Owners could take them hunting, then they’ll eat the croc and re-use its other resources.”

Crocs in politics

The Katter Australia Party have threatened to block the state budget unless the government supports its proposal to introduce a crocodile cull, safaris and egg collection.

One Nation's crocodile management plan was one of several policies announced by Mr Dickson on Friday in the lead-up to the next state election.

Mr Dickson said the party also opposed asset sales and would rename the Queensland Police Service the Queensland Police Force.

With AAP

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