CHANGE NEEDED: Fraser Island Taxi Service founder Nigel Freemantle.
CHANGE NEEDED: Fraser Island Taxi Service founder Nigel Freemantle. Contributed

Call to change dingo management

FOR more than two decades, Nigel Freemantle spent his days interacting with Fraser Island dingoes without a single incident.

Over those years, the species lost every major source of food in the move to becoming a national park when brumbies were removed from the island, scraps were no longer thrown in the bush and fisherman made their offal harder to reach.

Mr Freemantle lived on the island for more than 25 years as founder of Fraser Island Taxi Service and has visited the island since the 1970s.

He said major incidents between humans and dingoes, such as the mauling of a German tourist over the weekend and the death of nine-year-old Clinton Gage, have only happened since people were no longer able to feed the animals.

"What Parks (and Wildlife Service) have been trying to do for 21 years isn't working," he said.

Mr Freemantle is part of an increasing chorus of residents and activists calling for rapid change to the management of Fraser Island dingoes.

He said segregating the dingoes on to part of the island where tourists could pay a small fee to see them was the most viable option and has bought his views to the attention of Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen.

"The tourists who go to the island want to see a dog," he said.

Mr Sorensen is now encouraging people to turn to the Ecosure review of the Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy.

"There will be a lot of different ideas come out of that," he said.

He said he would wait for the outcome of the review to form a personal opinion on issues such as separating the dingoes.

Mr Sorensen said yesterday he may put in his own submission to the review, which is due to put out its draft report later this year.

Visit ecosure.com.au for more information.



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