Government announces new measures to promote safety on K’gari

Image Cooloola Coastcare

Image Cooloola Coastcare

The Government has announced a range of new measures as part of its commitment to the continued safety of visitors to K’gari (Fraser Island).

In the region today meeting with Butchulla first nations people, Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the Government would be working in partnership with the Butchulla people to ramp up safety, education and compliance measures.

The Minister today announced:

  • higher penalties for people who intentionally feed dingoes,
  • new fenced camping sites (including in popular beach front areas), and
  • a new Butchulla community education ranger position to help educate visitors.

Currently the fine for intentionally feeding or disturbing dingoes ranges from a minimum $391 to $5222 per offence.

It is proposed to increase fines to be a minimum $2088 and doubling the maximum fine to $10,444 per offence.

“People need to be aware that feeding dingoes can have significant and serious consequences.

“Rangers and Traditional custodians do a great job in informing visitors to be dingo-safe,” the Minister said.

“Increasing fines for those who deliberately disturb dingoes or feed them sends a very clear message about how dangerous the practice is.”

Minister Enoch said work had already commenced to scope out potential sites for new fenced areas that could be constructed on K’gari to provide more enclosed campsites and improved safety for visitors.

“We are evaluating options for a greater number of camping areas in popular locations that are not accessible for dingoes,” she said.

Over the school holiday period, rangers and traditional custodians visited more than 215 campsites to reinforce safety messaging.

“Six fines were issued to people over the Easter weekend, under the existing fine structure, for not properly securing food,” the Minister said.

“The new measures announced today come on top of the review of the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy Implementation Plan.

“That plan outlines the on-ground actions to reduce negative interactions between dingoes and people and promote communication, education and the conservation of the K’gari dingoes.

“The review will look at how we can improve our messaging further with the assistance of our Butchulla partners.

“We want to ensure visitors and dingoes can co-exist on K’gari.

“The management of dingoes on K’gari is complex, and the Government and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation are committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population, while minimising the risks to human safety and dingo welfare.”

A spokesperson for the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) said BAC Directors welcome the Governments support for a closer working arrangement with the Butchulla people on K’gari, the traditional home of the Wongari(dingoes).

“Our knowledge and experience will greatly assist the government with on-ground management of issues, such as visitor education, visitor safety and the conservation of the Wongari.

“A proposed community education ranger within the BAC will enable the traditional owners to better influence the management of K’gari and the review of the Dingo Strategy Implementation Plan.”

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 reminded to be dingo safe at all times:

  • 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.

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