Move over Mick Dundee. Big game hunters could soon be bagging monster crocodiles in the Northern Territory as part of a plan to boost the economic viability of Aboriginal communities.
Federal indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion has been pushing to lift the ban on croc hunting – a species protected for 40 years – and give hunting permits to Aboriginal communities to sell to hunters.
ABC radio’s AM program says the permits could be worth up to $30,000 each and the NT government, alongside Scullion, wants to give 20 of the 600 permits issued annually to cull problem crocs, to indigenous groups, injecting more than $500,000 into the remote communities.
“I think it’s time to ensure that our first Australians can get a bite of the economic bullet,” Scullion told AM.
“This is about science. There’s no difference from crocodiles and flathead, obviously apart from size and teeth. Why would you not have safari hunting as a part of an existing management regime?”
A deal could be struck within months, despite the fact that the Abbott government rejected the idea early last year.
AM reports that the hunting plan came back on the agenda after Nationals MPs were annoyed by environment minister Greg Hunt’s ban on importing lion’s head hunting trophies.
Despite Scullion’s push, prime minister Tony Abbott today said the federal goverment has no plans to change the legislation.
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