Croc nest found in cane paddock
UPDATE November 28, 4:30pm: THE information which claimed a Bakers Creek man had found a crocodile egg in a cane paddock is unfounded.
Steve Young said he posted an image to social media to find out what type of egg it was under the heading, "What, so now we're farming crocs?” and others had shared it.
On Monday he said that not long after the initial post a friend had confirmed it was a bush turkey egg.
INITIAL: WHEN a fisherman was lunged at by a crocodile at a Seaforth pontoon, he sold his boat the very next day - scared to go back near the water.
Gerald Vandaele says he and his son would fish off that same pontoon and has joined many on social media calling for a crocodile cull in the Mackay region.
"Also a cane farmer in Calen was checking his property boundary when a big female croc attacked his tractor,” Mr Vandaele said.
"The croc had made its nest in the cane paddock; lucky for him he wasn't walking his boundary.
"I am all for conservation etc but reality check is there are way too many crocs in the estuaries now more than ever that's why you see them on the beach etc it's not because they are following the food it's because they have been pushed out by larger crocs and are making their own territory.”
Mr Vandaele said he has lived in Mackay for 24 years and has scuba dived and spearfished and never before had to worry about crocs.
"I was more worried about sharks, but now that I have seen crocs on the beaches, boat ramps etc we need to bring in a program to not relocate as they are territorial but to dispatch a few to balance the ecosystem,” he said.
"But as always nothing will get done until it's too late, and I mean until an adult or a child is taken.”
Crocs found in canefields
Another report of croc nests being found in cane paddocks came from a harvester out at Bakers Creek who stumbled upon the nest at the weekend.
"What, so now we're farming crocs?” Steve Young posted on social media, along with a photo of a croc egg and nest he found.
Mr Young said he was cutting cane about 200m from the creek when he found the nest.
Declan O'Shea shared a photo he took of a young crocodile he came across while working up in the Burdekin.
"Had this fresh water croc walk out in front of me on the haul road maybe over one month ago,” Mr O'Shea said.
"Wasn't in any rush to get out of the way either... that's until I let the air horn go. Then it went into the drill with the water going!”
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan is one politician who supports a crocodile cull in the region.
"The debate continues but at the end of the day, surely human life is the top priority here,” Mr Costigan wrote on Facebook recently.
"That is what the majority of my constituents are telling me after more and more crocodile sightings across the electorate of Whitsunday... from Blacks Beach to Airlie Beach and beyond. What will it take before something is done?”
Dawn Tronc suggested Mr Costigan invite Environment Minister Steven Miles up for a swim in the Proserpine River.
Dr Miles lashed out in parliament recently when updating the State Government on their crocodile management strategy, calling Mr Costigan and others "nut jobs” for wanting a cull.
Dr Miles said a public survey found just 15% of respondents supported a cull, with 72% wanting large or dangerous crocodiles relocated.
"Of course, on any issue such as this we would have extremists; the nut jobs out there who are more interested in headlines than public safety,” Dr Miles said.
"That brings me to the member for Whitsunday. When he is not hiding around corners behind our premier, he has been calling for - wait for it - a crocodile cull. Recently, on radio he said that we need to be looking at a culling program.
"Members might have come to expect that kind of crazy talk from the member for Whitsunday and they might think that he does not really speak for the opposition. The opposition environment spokesperson (Dr Christian Rowan) backed the call for a cull.”
Mr Miles said public education was important, stating the key message was "be croc wise when you're in croc country”.
Talking the Mercury recently, Mr Costigan said Dr Miles "doesn't have the appetite to indulge” in a crocodile removal program in Mackay.
"Trying to trap a crocodile in the Mackay northern beaches for the State Government is like hunting for a Russian sub,” Mr Costigan said.
"It appears that no one seems to be able to do the business of removing the crocodile and unfortunately it seems that it won't be removed until someone is most likely killed.”
Members of the public who see crocodiles are encouraged to report sightings as soon as possible to EHP wildlife officers by phoning 1300 130 372.