Cueball MacKenzie is now devoting at least one day a week into "damage control", as the FNQ MP's hit the Joh Bjelke Newman wall of inaction. Today's defendant was Michael "Brothers Crimm" Trout, who's been saddled with implementing the MacKenzie "Whatever It Takes" crocodile management demands.
It's frankly hard to understand - crocs have killed an average of less than one person in Australia a year the last 25 years. Bee stings kill three times as many. We routinely let our overseas guests get mowed down by drunken FNQ drivers with impunity. And yet the 300 hillbillies have been whipped into a frenzy by this week's "crisis plaguing the tourism industry". Guess it's easier than rounding up the killer bees, or meting out actual punishment to drink drivers.
Poor Trouty, he doesn't realise he's being hung out to dry by his LNP mates. In charge of organising the CRC Crocodile Management Plan, council has scheduled this plan for discussion on Wednesday. The plan matches the hysterical tone whipped up the last few weeks - "Zero Tolerance" for crocs in the city and on the Northern Beaches. With some of this physical infrastructure being provided by a a couple hundred thousand $$$ pissed out on to Cairns by Brissy.
However the big ticket items are unfunded, and are known to cost plenty. The Bligh government estimated the cost of finding and removing one croc at over $20,000. With 14 said to be in the Barron River alone, someone's up for a big annual tab to remove these animals. Crocs, not unlike the other traditional owners of these lands, keep coming back no matter how many coppers you put out to shoo them away. Some estimate $20-30M in North Queensland, as well as additional millions every year to fund a permanent "croc removal squad". The CRC "plan" proposed completely ignores the removal costs under the delusion these will be paid by the Newman government.
With the Newman government already caving on their six-month "Zero Tolerance" plan on CBD and youth crime, even a mouth-breather like John MacKenzie can see his Trouty mate is going to get screwed on the crocodile plans, too. And he's already casting around for someone else to blame it on. So Cueball decided to spread another vile rumour today - claiming insiders at council told him "the same people that allowed the palms in Port Douglas to be cut down are in charge of writing the Crocodile Management Plan". And with IQ of the average MacKenzie listener rubbing up against 70, I guess this makes sense. To them.
The Crocodile Management Plan looks to have been written by Russell Wild, coordinator of Natural Areas Management. Did he have anything to do with the "palm tree crisis" in Port Douglas? Don't know, don't care. But Wild should be aware he's being set-up to take the fall for the failure of "Zero Tolerance" on crocs. We can't let Trouty take the fall.
And if you own a backhoe and live north of the city, keep an eye on it.