Fraser Island dingo. Image Credit: Pixabay
Two hefty fines have been issued under the recently increased penalties legislated for interfering with dingoes on Fraser Island.
Minister for Environment and Science Leeanne Enoch said the fines served as a timely reminder that people need to be aware of the significant and serious consequences of feeding dingoes.
“The government is committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population and the increase in fines is intended to act as a significant deterrent to people interacting with dingoes in a way that can lead to their habitualisation” Minister Enoch said.
“Habituated dingoes pose a danger to visitors to the island and also leave the dingoes vulnerable.”
“There is a zero-tolerance approach and we will use all means at our disposal to hold offenders accountable.”
“To prevent people feeding and approaching dingoes, on the spot fines have increased from a minimum of $2,135 per offence, which was the amount issued in both instances, but may reach a maximum of $10,676.
“The fines also serve as a reminder that rangers don’t have to be present to charge a person feeding, enticing or interfering with dingoes.”
The first fine was issued on 28 December 2019, after a member of the public provided rangers with footage of an individual luring and allegedly feeding a dingo in the Orchid Beach residential area.
The second fine was issued on 16 January to another individual allegedly caught feeding a dingo near the Waddy Point beachfront area.
Minister Enoch said that covert operations are being undertaken by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers to ensure that human interactions with dingoes are stopped.
“By working in partnership with the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC), we are ensuring that visitors understand the cultural significance of the islands’ dingoes.”
Minister Enoch said that the traditional owners have cared for K’gari’s land and sea country for countless generations.
“A new BAC community education ranger been appointed and they have been actively involved in providing dingo safe messaging and education to visitors."
To help improve safety on K’gari, the department is expanding a fenced camping area in Cornwell’s Break camping zone, with construction scheduled to be completed in January.
“QPWS is in consultation with the BAC to identify other suitable fenced camping sites on the island.”
People are encouraged to report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger or to phone 07 4127 9150 or email [email protected] as soon as possible.
Visitors to Fraser Island are always reminded to be dingo safe:
Always stay close (within arm’s reach) of children and young teenagers
Always walk in groups
Camp in fenced areas where possible
Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
Never feed dingoes
Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat)
Never store food or food containers in tents, and
Secure all rubbish, fish and bait
No food to lakeshores.
For more information go to https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/fraser-island-dingoes