PEOPLE who feed dingoes on Fraser Island could be fined more than $10,000 under a raft of tough new measures announced today by the Queensland Government to help keep tourists safe.
Under the changes, the minimum fines for intentionally feeding or disturbing dingoes will increase from $391 to $2088, while the maximum fine will double from $5222 per offence to $10,444.
More fenced camping sites will also be established on the island, and a major education campaign run to help improve visitor safety.
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Queensland’s Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch announced the new measures on Friday.
It comes after a dingo crept into a camper van and dragged a 14-month-old boy from his bed by his head earlier this month, leaving him with a fractured skull and puncture wounds.
The boy’s father heard his son’s screams and manged to fight the dogs off.
Ms Enoch said people need to understand that feeding dingoes emboldens them, and in turn increases risks to humans.
“Increasing fines for those who deliberately disturb dingoes or feed them sends a very clear message about how dangerous the practice is,” she said.
“People need to be aware that feeding dingoes can have significant and serious consequences.”
Rangers visited more than 215 campsites over the Easter school holidays and fined six people for not properly securing food.
Work is currently underway to identify potential sites for new fenced camping zones.
“We are evaluating options for a greater number of camping areas in popular locations that are not accessible for dingoes,” Ms Enoch said.
“The management of dingoes on K’gari is complex, and (we) are committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population, while minimising the risks to human safety and dingo welfare.”
People are encouraged to report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger, or to phone 07 4127 9150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.