dingo safe fraser island
Photo: Whitsunday Times

Increased fines keep Fraser Island visitors dingo safe

AS part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to boost visitor and residents’ safety on K’gari (Fraser Island), two hefty fines have been issued under the recently increased penalties legislated for interfering with dingoes.

Minister for Environment and Science Leeanne Enoch said the fines served as a timely dingo safe 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 $2135 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 December 28, 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 January 16 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 and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers to ensure human interactions with dingoes are stopped.

“By working in partnership with the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, we are ensuring that visitors understand the cultural significance of the island’s 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 dingo.ranger@des.qld.gov.au 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 lake shores.

For more information, go to https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/fraser-island-dingoes

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