Arthur Gorrie
Arthur Gorrie Arthur Gorrie

It's Azaria Chamberlain over again as innocent are blamed

ONE day in the early 1980s, the Northern Territory government decided tourists at Uluru should not feed dingoes.

A few weeks later, Azaria Chamberlain was dead.


1. Fraser Island management blamed for dingo attack

2. Ranger numbers to increase on Fraser after dingo attack

3. 'Worst time of year': Dingo sanctuary owner speaks out

It was 2001 before similar policies by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service were linked to the death of another child, Clinton Gage, on Fraser Island.

Now, another child has been hurt and probably nearly killed.

Dingoes had foraged on midden heaps and protected the children during eons of benign Aboriginal occupation of the island. Human interaction and human-sourced food continued under Forestry Department policies, all with great success, for the animals as well as the humans.

"Dingoes will clean up most scraps,” the department advised.

Experts said what the Northern Territory government wanted to hear in the 1980s, when they helped with the false prosecution of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain.

When that didn't work, they blamed the dingo. The QPWS more recently succeeded in convincing a Northern Territory coroner to back that up, dingoes being an easy pinch and unable to access lawyers.

The coroner did not respond to public submissions that she should also look at the role of human dingo management. But powerful and all-knowing bureaucracies are harder to prosecute than a defenceless animal. Now, another child has been hurt.

And we still blame the dingo.