A dugong swimming underwater. Picture: Jake Persson
A dugong swimming underwater. Picture: Jake Persson

Lawyer for accused Clairview dugong killer withdraws

The lawyer for a truck driver accused of illegally killing two dugongs at Clairview has withdrawn from the case.

It is alleged the incident occurred more than two years ago, but only came to the attention of Department of Environment and Science investigators in August last year.

Elwyn James Mann was charged with using a boat to go into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on July 21, 2018 to fish, hunt, take and/or possess a natural or cultural resource to which he was not permitted.

It is further alleged he removed two dugongs from waters near Clairview and Flock Pigeon Island coastal area conservation park.

He was charged with entry or use for a prohibited purpose – taking of natural or cultural resources under the Marine Parks Act. He has pleaded not guilty.

In Mackay Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Magistrate James Morton expressed frustration over ongoing delays with hearing the case.

“The matter was mentioned on the 17th of November, adjourned to the 23rd of February. On the 23rd of February I said this is the last adjournment,” Mr Morton said.

“I want to know what’s going on.”

Mr Mann’s case was adjourned again, this time for a two-day hearing on August 30 and August 31.

Dugongs are listed as vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act and as a protected species under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations.

If convicted the maximum penalty is a fine totalling $400,350.

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