By Jasmine Kazlauskas
An Aussie politician has claimed tourists should NOT be warned about the risk of being ‘eaten alive’ by deadly saltwater crocs – because they wouldn’t visit the country.
Outspoken MP Bob Katter made the statement in response to a horrific crocodile attack on Monday which left a young female British tourist with serious injuries in Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland.
Speaking from his home, next to a life-sized statue of Ned Kelly, an impassioned Mr Katter declared Australia’s “crocodile problem” was a serious threat to tourism and said visitors should not be warned about the dangers – despite the animals being capable of ‘eating people alive’.
He said: “The crocodile attack upon a tourist creates a qualitative leap in the crocodile problem.
“During my first interview on this, the interviewer asked, ‘don’t we need more education for all of our tourists?’
“But if you educate the tourists about the dangers of crocodiles, the real dangers, unless you tell them lies, then you will have no tourists.
“One-third of the employment in the northern half of this state is tourism.
“If you take away that third you will undermine and watch of the whole economy of north Queensland collapse.
“If you’re not worried about your mother or son or brother or sister being eaten alive, then worry about your own pocket, because it’s going to be pretty empty shortly unless something is done about this.
“We need to force the issue to prevent our fellow North Queenslanders from being eaten alive – maybe our mothers, our fathers, our sons, our daughters, our dogs as well.
“In the southern half of the state, people are protected while crocodiles are removed. But in north Queensland the crocodiles are protected, and the people are removed.”
Shocking footage of the crocodile attack – which left a 24-year-old woman with bite injuries to her leg – has gone viral on Facebook, racking up more than 750,000 views.
Earlier this month Mr Katter went viral when he turned from cheerful to suddenly furious when asked for his view on Australia’s historic same sex marriage vote in a TV interview before launching into a rant on the country’s croc problem.
A spokesperson for Queensland’s department of Environment and Heritage Protection said that local wildlife officers were targeting the crocodile for removal following the attack.
The spokesperson said: “The targeted crocodile has not yet been removed from the area.
“Officers carried out a site assessment of the area yesterday and have put recent sighting warning signs in place.
“A trap to remove the crocodile, believed to be between 2 and 2.5 metres-in-length, will be installed today.
“Estuarine crocodiles are wary by nature and it often takes time for an animal to get used to having a trap in its territory and to be willing to enter the trap for food.
“It is not uncommon for this process to take several days.
“The department has an arrangement for crocodiles removed from the wild to be placed into suitable crocodile farms or zoos in Queensland.”