Croc removal calls grow

KOORANA crocodile expert John Lever has called on the State Government to conduct an immediate review of its crocodile management policy.

It follows the second fatal attack in the Northern Territory in less than a week.

Mr Lever yesterday said it was only a matter of time before a crocodile and recreational Fitzroy River user crossed paths ? and it could be fatal.

"The current (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service) management plan is very faulty,'' he said, referring to a risk assessment report released this week.

A crocodile which surfaced near skiers at Laurel Bank last December has not been identified by QPWS as a "problem crocodile'', but Mr Lever disagrees.

"Of course it's a threat, it's a three-metre-long crocodile in a recreational area.

"These are large territorial predators, carnivores. You don't get any warning, you don't get any second chances.

"And the last three people attacked in the Northern Territory know it, or at least their families do.''

Rockhampton Tourist and Business Information manager Barbara Harwood joined the chorus of calls for the removal of crocodiles. "The crocodiles are ruling Australia ? you can't swim anywhere anymore,'' she said.

"Look I'm a greenie, but I just think we (environmentalists) have gone over the top here.

"Just get in there and remove them.''

Rob Weaver, spokesman for the Responsible Upstream River and Landowners Group, said people were genuinely scared to use the river.

"The number of people using the Ski Gardens has dropped off dramatically,'' he said.

QPWS regional director Keith Twyford said "problem crocodiles'' would be targeted for removal if identified as such.

He said surveys had indicated there were low numbers of crocodiles in the freshwater section of the Fitzroy between the barrage and Alligator Creek.

He said a "very low'' number of official reports or complaints had been received.

Mr Weaver strongly urged people to report sightings to QPWS on 4936 0511.

Mr Lever will meet with Local Government Minister Desley Boyle when Parliament sits in Rockhampton on Wednesday to raise concerns.



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