Crocodile culling proved a hot topic at Mackay's filming of Q&A Monday night.
Crocodile culling proved a hot topic at Mackay's filming of Q&A Monday night. Patrick Woods

Those taken by crocodiles are often drunk: Greens Senator

THOSE taken by crocodiles were probably drunk stumbling into the water after dark, Greens Senator Larrissa Waters told the nation during Mackay's filming of ABC's Q&A last night.

A question came in from an audience member, which asked:

"Central Queensland, Mackay and Whitsundays remained croc free from the 1960s to the 1990s. Since being protected in the early 1970s we now have an overwhelming number in this area. We cull kangaroos, we have even culled koalas ... would we ever consider culling crocodiles as they have no natural predators?"

Dawson MP George Christensen responded first, saying culling crocodiles should be considered.

"When you've got crocs swimming up onto beaches where young nippers are training like up at Eimeo, it's happened on The Strand in Townsville ... obviously the population has increased too much and it's encroaching onto urban territory," Mr Christensen said.

"I'm not talking about a wholesale slaughter of crocodiles, I'm talking about a managed cull. It can be done, and you don't have to have people going crazy over it, you just cull them back from urban areas."

Things took a turn when Ms Waters said we should "learn to live with our natural environment", which caused outcries from the audience at the MECC, with one man yelling "you try living in North Queensland!"

Bob Katter laughed over the audience's reaction, telling Ms Waters: "when it's eating ya you can't!"

"We are willing to listen to expert advice on how to manage them, how to live with them, but killing them isn't the answer," Ms Waters said.

"Cull them, you have to," Pauline Hanson said, to applause from the audience.

"They are imposing a danger, they don't have any predators themselves and the fact is they're encroaching on areas where animals are being taken by them, people are being taken by them... I pity those who come by the boats up at the Daintree at the moment, if those last two are going to survive up there with the crocs up there but anyway, that's their problem."

Crocs south of the Boyne River

A map showing confirmed and reported sightings of crocodiles south of their accepted range.

Ms Hanson then turned on Ms Waters, saying "this is stupid".

"Larissa you care more about that than caring about the animals, the dogs, the people that are out there taken by crocs... people don't feel safe going in the waterways," she said.

Ms Waters rebutted by saying: "well, many of the people that are taken by crocs have often had a couple to drink..." as the crowd erupted once more, "and they're going into the water after dark".

Mr Christensen asked "so they deserve it do they?".

"You've got to be aware of the risks when you go into croc habitat," Ms Waters said.

Watch the full exchange here:

A public forum on the Safer Waterways Bill hosted by Katter's Australian Party will be held at Rydges Mackay Grande Suites from 10am Wednesday.

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