News

No running with dingoes rule halts Fraser Island marathon

A PLAN to hold a marathon on World Heritage Listed Fraser Island has been quashed due to fears it promotes "negative interaction with dingoes".

Organised by Fraser Coast fitness promoter Jeanette Maynes, the inaugural 42km Fraser Island Marathon was in the final stages of approval before it stumbled.

In a letter seen by the Chronicle, Miss Maynes' application to hold the marathon in July was rejected by the Department of National Parks Recreation, Sport and Recreation.

The justification for the rejection was that the "proposed activity is not consistent with critical public education messages".

In October last year two women were attacked while jogging along the beach near Yidney Rocks.

A month earlier a man was attacked while walking along the beach at Happy Valley.

Since January, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has suggested visitors should not run as running or jogging could trigger "negative dingo interaction".

But Miss Maynes is questioning the evidence behind the QPWS strategy.

"I cannot see how they will be able to defend this strategy, especially as there is no evidence that runners are at more of a risk than anyone else," she said.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said dingo incidents on Fraser Island had escalated in recent years.

"There were no fewer than 15 negative dingo interactions in 2014 that involved persons running or jogging," she said.

And Miss Maynes maintains the refusal is a "massive loss for the area".

"These world-class events are crucial for raising the profile of the region internationally, injecting enormous dollars into the local community and tourism sector," she said.

"Participants would have brought their families and friends- stayed longer to explore the island, had the opportunity to go whale watching."

Topics:  dingoes editors picks fraser island marathon running



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