CrocWise messaging to be discussed at crocodile roundtable
CrocWise messages will be high on the agenda at a special crocodile roundtable in Cairns on Tuesday, 13 December.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the roundtable was part of targeted consultation to explore the best approaches to public education and communication to promote safe behaviour in crocodile country.
Dr Miles said 25 per cent of people who participated in a recent online Queensland Government questionnaire had not heard of the term ‘CrocWise’.
In addition, face-to-face Queensland Government consultation revealed strong support for rejuvenation and expansion of the current CrocWise program.
“Results from public consultation highlight the need to improve the CrocWise program,” Dr Miles said.
“I will be meeting with community leaders, council and industry representatives, and crocodile experts at the roundtable,” Dr Miles said.
“Their detailed local knowledge in areas such as commercial tourism, recreational pursuits and local waterways, as well as how to influence target audiences, such as young people and overseas tourists, will help us improve our crocodile safety messages.
“To help protect the public, we are developing improved CrocWise messages, discussing options for better signage and coming up with new ways of reaching target audiences.
“We are also exploring ways to encourage people to report crocodile sightings immediately so the government can provide important warnings to the public in a timely manner; so that our wildlife officers can continue to swiftly remove aggressive animals,” he said.
Dr Miles said he would like to see more focus on the why - instead of the don’t - when it comes to CrocWise messages in Queensland, as gone are the days when people respond well to “do not” instructions.
“We want people to understand why it is important to be CrocWise in Croc Country, and we can do this by creating conversation in the community about the biology and behaviour of crocodiles.
“We also need to modernise the way we communicate to the public about crocodiles – this could be through greater use of social media, which can sway human decision-making and behaviour.”
To date, 46 crocodiles have been removed from the Cairns Regional Council area, out of 68 across the State.