by TONY RAGGATT, Townsville Bulletin
BIG game hunters would pay up to $70,000 to shoot crocodiles, providing jobs for Aboriginal safari guides needing work in remote areas, says federal Kennedy MP Bob Katter.
Mr Katter raised the idea of "shooting safaris" yesterday as part of a continuing push to cull crocodiles which he says are growing in numbers and attacking people in communities in North Queensland.
He also backed Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg who this week said the Federal Government could approve a cull under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act. "Such action properly considered and carried out would have my full support," Mr Frydenberg said.
Last month an 18-year-old man was mauled while swimming in croc-infested waters in Innisfail and a 35-year-old fisherman was killed south of the town. Earlier this month a pet dog was reportedly taken north of Innisfail.
Mr Katter said in the case of crocodiles in the North "nature is completely out of balance".
"Shooting safaris and egg harvesting will start to get the numbers back into balance," Mr Katter said.
"Safaris will provide a vitally important income stream for our First Australians of which they have none, they're on the begging barrel, welfare, and the Feds and State Government won't give them title deeds to start cattle operations."
He said crocodile safaris could be provided in the Gulf of Carpentaria and on Cape York.
"I think the rich and wealthy of the world will pay the Government. They will get a licence fee out of it," he said.
"There will be properly set up safaris. You are looking at $50,000 or $70,000."
Mr Katter said there would also be work for taxidermists so hunters could retain the crocodile "so it can sit in their living room forever".
"There's a lot of work out there. There would be at least a 100 jobs and quite frankly ... at the present moment there are no make money jobs out there," he said.
North Queensland councils including Douglas, Mareeba and Cassowary Coast have raised concerns about the state's existing crocodile management plans and asked for more powers.
State Environment Minister Steven Miles has rejected any talk of culling crocodiles.