People who intentionally feed or interact with dingoes on K’gari (Fraser Island) face increased penalties from today (21 June) as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to boost visitor safety.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said recent dingo incidents on the island demonstrated the dangerous risks that result from deliberately feeding dingoes.
“People need to be aware that feeding dingoes can have significant and serious consequences,” Ms Enoch said.
“As of today, the minimum on-the-spot fine for intentionally feeding or disturbing dingoes rises from $391 to $2088 and the maximum fine doubles from $5222 to $10,444 per offence.
“We are committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population and the increase in fines is intended to act as a significant deterrent to people continuing interactions with dingoes.
“There is a zero-tolerance approach to anyone who feeds or interacts with dingoes as it can lead to the animals becoming habituated,” she said.
“Habituated dingoes pose a danger to visitors to the island and leaves the dingoes vulnerable to vehicle strikes.”
Minister Enoch said that covert operations are also being undertaken involving the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers to ensure that human interactions with dingoes stops immediately.
“One man has already been charged with allegedly feeding dingoes on K’gari (Fraser Island) and issued with a notice to appear in court as a result of these operations,” she said.
“We want to keep visitors to the island and K’gari’s dingos safe, and these new fines are necessary to protect people as well as ensure dingoes can live on the island free from being harassed.”
The increased fines are additional to the review of the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy Implementation Plan to be conducted in partnership with Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC).
Other measures to improve visitor safety include the development of a number of fenced camping areas and a BAC community education ranger to assist with the review of the Dingo Strategy Implementation Plan and increase face to face contact with visitors to the island.
Minister Enoch said that the Butchulla First Nations People have cared for K’gari’s land and sea country for thousands of generations.
“By working in partnership with BAC we can ensure that visitors understand the cultural significance of the islands dingos.”
Butchulla Land and Sea Ranger Chantel Van Wamelen said the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) fully supports the increase in fines.
“We need visitors to our country to protect and respect our wongari (dingoes) and the BAC hopes the increase in fines will help prevent people from feeding the dingoes and approaching them for selfies,” Ms Van Wamelen said.
“People need to admire these beautiful animals from a distance and not put the dingoes and themselves in danger.
“The proposed BAC community education ranger will work closely with the Queensland Government and stakeholders such as the island resorts to strengthen the dingo safety message.”
Visitors to K’gari 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.