We'll wait while you laugh over that one.
While Riddell's campaign to "save turtles and dugongs" looked to start with meritorious intent, Riddell's penchant for the limelight and desire to be "the next Steve Irwin" have seen him making more and more unsustainable charges.
The grossest of which was his assertion that a "huge black market" in dugong and turtle meat exists, with airlines and taxicabs among the conspirators. Riddell fed this information to the LNP, and saw it repeated by then Shadow Minister Glenn Elmes along with Sydney DJ Derryn Hinch. These included claims that "a 5PM flight from Horn Island" arrives jammed with packaged dugong meat.
These claims by Riddell look to be false, with Torres Strait Regional Authority chair Joseph Elu calling them "little more than a beatup by ill-informed persons".
One Colinwhocares Riddell.
Over 11 days the AFP, QPS, and Department of Environment checked luggage arriving from the Cape for any dugong or turtle meat. NONE was found. Even on Riddell's suggested 5PM "Dugong Express". Roadside checks on the Peninsula Development Road did find some turtle and dugong meat, but clearly for personal use - not in any "commercial" quantities.
|WELCOME TO TOBA-BURGER. WHERE THE MASCOT|
AND FEATURED BURGER IS YOU-KNOW-WHAT. .
JCU Professor Helene Marsh, one of Australia's top dugong experts, agrees that the scale of problem has been exaggerated, and that the dugong population is reasonably stable. She points to commercial projects as being the most endangering to these animals. Indeed, while the LNP government enacted a "humane kill" law that was just a sop to Riddell and Bob Irwin, the approval of the Etty Bay development, pending big dredging projects in Cairns and Townsville, and the refusal to hire more indigenous community rangers shows the LNP has even less interest in dugong and turtle protection than the previous ALP government.
Exposing the fallacy in the Riddell claims of commercial meat smuggling pretty much puts an end to the "Colinwhocares" media campaign.