Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

October 30th 2008
Tel on the croc

Following is a letter to the Editor from Townsville Enterprise's CEO Glenys Schuntner regarding the impact on tourism caused by the visit to Magnetic Island of an EPA relocated crocodile.

The recent revelation that the 3.5 metre crocodile disrupting tourism on Magnetic Island was brought to the region as part of an EPA experiment deserves the associated outcry. The decision to relocate an animal of this size from a sparsely populated area to the densely populated Townsville region was a severe miscalculation. This blunder has had a real and immediate financial and operational impact on tourism operators on the island - and has potential long term ramifications for the region if the story gets significant oxygen in the media nationally and internationally.

Townsville Enterprise has called on Environment Minister Andrew McNamara to ensure the urgent removal of the crocodile and provide immediate compensation to the businesses affected by the presence of this "despatched" crocodile. A copy of our letter has also been sent on to Tourism Minister Desley Boyle and local State Government members to seek their support. So far we have received assurance from Minister McNamara's office that everything possible is being done to find and relocate the crocodile and certainly this cannot happen fast enough.

We will continue to advocate on behalf of tourism operators in the region to ensure this sort of bureaucratic mishap does not occur again and that the State Government provides financial support to compensate for the losses incurred and marketing support to help bring tourists back to Magnetic Island. Times are tough enough in the tourism industry without dealing with crocodiles being "despatched" here.


Glenys Schuntner
Chief Executive Officer
Townsville Enterprise

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Tel on the croc
 
3 comments
 
Bruce Williams
October 31st 2008
Well said, Ms Schuntner! However the fasct remains that crocodiles will continue to recover in numbers since their protection. Our waters may have been believed to be safe, however we are likely to find a growth in the perils of the ocean as time rolls on. Townsville Enterprise must surely see the value of the MIRRA-proposed swim-through-aquarium: locals and visitors alike will feel safe and delighted in this above high-water mark delightful creation. This is not another Rockpool: this is a privately funded pay-to-enter maritime experience, in which people may swim safely and under supervision among tropical fish-life, and may snorkle above giant clams, coral bombies and other delights, impervious to the perils of the marine environment.
 
chasmac
November 4th 2008
Perhaps Ms Schuntner could spend five minutes of her obviously valuable time actually acquainting herself with the facts and the objectives of the Crocs in Space program. There is a web site with links to associated sites written by proper research scientists with years of experience in this field. They are not fools and they are not in the business of making fools of anyone else. They are though responsible for managing the incredibly valuable resource from which so much of our business community, particularly the ecotourism industry, makes its living.
The person might also consult her tourist map of the Townsville district and discover that Bowling Green Bay is quite a long way from Townsville, there are no major or even minor towns nearby, there is a large national park, wetlands and other important protected areas all around and the QPWS has some fairly good information about croc habitats and demographics in the area.
If Ms Schuntner did a tenth of the research the QPWS did BEFORE she babbled to the media she might have made some constructive comments that would support crocodile research (for the benefit of tourism) while at the same time allaying the fears of a particularly sensitive and apparently vulnerable minority in the business community.
 
chasmac
November 6th 2008
Every time I see mention of the swim-through-aquarium I get lost trying to locate it (thanks Bruce). Then I read some more and get confused trying to understand it (thanks Bruce). The last contribution includes:

"...Townsville Enterprise must surely see the value of the MIRRA-proposed swim-through-aquarium: locals and visitors alike will feel safe and delighted in this above high-water mark delightful creation. This is not another Rockpool: this is a privately funded pay-to-enter maritime experience, in which people may swim safely and under supervision among tropical fish-life, and may snorkle above giant clams, coral bombies and other delights, impervious to the perils of the marine environment."

A maritime experience above high-water mark? Hmmmm. Privately funded? Pay to enter? Would that be located within (or above) the Queensland Transport owned Nelly Bay harbour or the Townsville City Council administered canal area or are we talking about a private site on freehold land or even the boat ramp carpark? So many questions, so few answers. I wonder if MIRRA has a sketch?


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