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    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Education is key in crocodile country

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Friday, October 12, 2018

    Education is key in crocodile country

    The Palaszczuk Government’s Crocwise education program is proving vital in keeping Queenslanders safe near waterways in crocodile country, with figures showing more people are becoming engaged and reporting crocodiles than ever before.

    In Cairns for a crocodile roundtable today, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Government’s Crocwise public education program was crucial.

    “The Palaszczuk Government maintains public safety as the highest priority when it comes to crocodile management,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Our Government has committed $630,000 to Crocwise this financial year and we are increasing the reach and impact of this vital education program.

    “This year we are commencing the development of a web-based CrocWatch platform so people will be able to submit sighting reports from their smart phones, and we are also looking to expand our presence across different media.”

    The Crocwise program informs communities about staying safe in crocodile country and provides guidelines about how to stay safe.

    “A key message includes urging all Queenslanders to report a crocodile as soon as they spot one,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Department of Environment and Science investigates all reports it receives, and problem crocodiles are always targeted for removal.

    “Figures are proving that this reporting method, and an increase in education, is working.

    “It’s a shame that the LNP have been smearing such a great program that is proving to be effective. Earlier this month they said Crocwise was a waste of money, so they obviously have no interest in spreading vital safety messages in the community.

    “On social media, Crocwise has reached half a million people this year, which is five times more than last year.

    “And since 2017, about 9000 students have been engaged about how to be Crocwise during about 100 school visits.”

    Ms Enoch also said more than 600 crocodile sightings had been reported so far this year, which is almost double the number that was reported in the entire 2015 calendar year.

    “This tells us that people are becoming more aware of what to do when they see a crocodile – to report it, so wildlife officers can respond quickly and effectively.”

    “So far, the data is telling us that on average there is less than one crocodile per kilometre of waterway in Queensland, compared to 5 to 10 crocodiles per kilometre in the Northern Territory.

    “It is also worth noting that the Department can receive multiple reports of the same crocodile, sometimes up to 20 or 30 reports.”

    Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was continuing the three-year crocodile monitoring program, which is progressing. In the program’s first year in 2017, wildlife officers surveyed more than 2000km of waterways, and since then, another 800km has been surveyed.

    “Our Government is committed to continuing to work with local organisations and media to deliver safety information and updates on its crocodile management activities,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The importance of education when it comes to crocodile management will be discussed at today’s roundtable.

    “We are always keen to listen to ways on how we can improve our Crocwise safety message and keep the community informed, and I look forward to these discussions today.”

    More information about crocodiles and Crocwise can be found here: https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/livingwith/crocodiles/

     

    Media contact: 0437 859 987