This writer says dangerous dingo/tourist encounters on Fraser Island are increasing.
This writer says dangerous dingo/tourist encounters on Fraser Island are increasing. Whitepointer

The management of dingoes is a sham: letter

I REFER to the letter by Wade Oestreich, Acting Director-General, Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, concerning management of dingoes on Fraser Island (FCC Dec 31).

Mr Oestreich has little knowledge of what is actually happening on Fraser Island. The escalating number of dangerous dingo/tourist encounters is a serious problem and one that should not be brushed off with political rhetoric.

There have been 82 threatening and high-risk interactions during 2016 alone. It has got to the stage where people jogging, running, standing, taking photographs, walking, swimming, fishing, picnicking, have been attacked by dingoes on Fraser Island.

These are terrifying and injurious events experienced by visitors. None of these incidents was caused by the human victim "feeding" dingoes, as is shamefully always asserted by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in their blame-the-tourist strategy.

The management of dingoes on Fraser Island is a sham. In 2011 there was a Collaborative Dingo Workshop in Brisbane that attracted great public interest but invitations to this "workshop" were severely restricted. Even I, as a member of the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Scientific Advisory Committee, was not allowed to attend. The best that came out of this "workshop" was patronising "rhyming signs" about dingoes, which implied that if you were attacked by dingoes it was your fault.

But the dingo is not the only problem. Fraser Island was saved from mineral sands mining a long time ago but it has lost on condominiums, traffic jams, bumper-to-bumper crowds around a trickle of water.

Overall management is a disappointing mess. Two separate Queensland Government departments, as well as the Australian Government, have piecemeal jurisdiction over the island. The Fraser Coast Regional Council has some responsibilities on the Island too and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation is also somewhere in the mix. Each is in an isolated bubble concerned only with their particular agenda. There is no effective co-ordination between them.

The local tourist industry has a long history of destructive competition and there seems no motivation to take any unified action.

Now the question is, can Fraser Island be salvaged or is it a lost cause?

DR MERIKE JOHNSON,

Kawungan



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