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October 29th 2008
Reynolds angry over croc relocation

Wighty Houdini swims past the Picnic swimming area Member for Townsville, Mike Reynolds, said today that he was very concerned and angry that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had relocated a very large crocodile from Injinoo near Bamaga in Far North Queensland to Cape Cleveland in the Townsville region.

"I have today written to the Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Andrew McNamara expressing my disbelief that this large crocodile has been released into Cape Cleveland which is in very close proximity to a large urban area including Townsville and in particular Magnetic Island.

Magnetic Times' inquiries however indicate that the croc was, in fact, released at Barramundi Creek in the Haughton river system about 50kms south of Townsville

"This elusive crocodile has travelled into Cleveland Bay and has been sighted on numerous occasions on the shores of Magnetic Island, which is a renowned tourist destination," said Mr Reynolds

"I have had a number of contacts from Magnetic Island residents, business owners and tourists who are all concerned about the presence of such a large crocodile in this urban area.

"As their local member, I have been actively making representations to Minister McNamara over the last two weeks, and I am not satisfied with the response by the EPA.

"As Member for Townsville I have urgently requested that Minister McNamara at least double the capacity of EPA officers and boats so that this crocodile can be caught and relocated to a remote area of Queensland.

Magnetic Times has learned today that a specialist croc crew from Cairns have now been stationed on the Island until the croc, we have dubbed Wighty Houdini, is captured.

"I am absolutely flabbergasted that the EPA has allowed this crocodile to be released at Cape Cleveland and I have asked Minister McNamara to publicly ensure that no crocodile is released so close to an urban area such as Townsville in the future.

"There needs to be a real sense of urgency and I want at least a doubling of the staff and the boats that can successfully track down this crocodile at the earliest opportunity."

This morning the EPA's Wildlife Manager, Mr Mike Devery, indicated that the EPA trackers lost contact with Wighty Houdini once again last night on the high tide but that searches with the specialist croc catching boat are continuing this afternoon.

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Reynolds angry over croc relocation
Dr. Lea M. Scherl
October 30th 2008
Well done Mike Reynolds! I would just hope that EPA could spend more money and resources on the on-going needs for park rangers around Magnetic Island - they have always been really stretched to do the huge job they have at hand here. This would be far better use of govt. money than this type of crocodile research. I sincerely hope too that EPA has equal amounts of money to conduct proper social impacts research to counterbalance the understanding gained from this type of croc relocation.

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Well done everyone! Once again our fabulous community had a great day out and raised funds for a deserving cause - pat on back to all.
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