PREPARE TO PAY: Dingo feeding fines doubled to $10k
MAXIMUM fines for feeding dingoes on Fraser Island will be doubled to more than $10,000 in an effort to deter tourists from approaching the animals.
It comes as frustration mounts over the role people are playing in encouraging dingo interactions and debate rages over whether dingoes should be removed from the island.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch announced the new measures in Hervey Bay yesterday, following criticism from the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation about being "kept at an arm's length" over dingo management.
There has been at least three attacks on island visitors this year, the latest involving a toddler who was dragged from his family's camper trailer by one of the animals in the early hours of Good Friday.
The new proposal include heftier fines, more fenced camping sites and a new Butchulla ranger position to educate visitors.
That means the current fines for feeding or disturbing dingoes, which range from a minimum of $391 to $5222, will be increased to a minimum of $2088.
Maximum fines have been doubled up to $10,444 per offence.
Ms Enoch said the new measures were about ensuring visitors and the island's dingo population were safe.
"People need to be aware that feeding dingoes can have significant and serious consequences," Ms Enoch said.
"It has been a very fruitful conversation with the Butchulla people and there are many more things we will be doing into the future."
Potential sites for new fenced areas are already being assessed.
Ms Enoch said she had not considered whether a cap on visitors to Fraser Island would be introduced.
Ranger patrols have increased in the wake of the Good Friday attack, with more than 215 campsites being visited over the school holidays.
At least nine fines for dingo interactions were issued over the long weekend.
BAC director Christine Royan said yesterday's negotiations were a "small part" in the beginning of a stronger relationship with the State Government.
"First and utmost is the safety of visitors... what we'll be looking at is working on visitor management and processes put in place together with Queensland Parks and Wildlife," Ms Royan said.
"This is only the beginning."