Dingo campaigner faces court

A PROMINENT Victorian dingo campaigner is among four associates of wildlife photographer Jennifer Parkhurst to face prosecution by the Department of Environment and Resource Management for feeding or interfering with dingoes on Fraser Island.

The charges were laid after DERM investigators examined electronic files seized from Parkhurst's Rainbow Beach unit in August 2009. Parkhurst is facing more than 40 charges of feeding and interfering with the animals while she worked on the island in 2008 and 2009.

Penelope Frances Alexander, Julie Fechner, Caroline Ecelyn Hanger and Simon John Stretton have all been charged with offences of feeding or disturbing a dangerous animal.

Alexander flew to Queensland from Melbourne to appear in Maryborough Magistrates Court yesterday; she was represented by solicitor David Hinton.

Alexander did not enter a plea to her two charges of feeding and one charge of disturbing a dangerous animal.

Mr Hinton also represented Julie Fechner, who was charged with one count of feeding and one count of interfering with a dangerous animal.

Fechner is a prominent Victorian dingo campaigner and a member of the Dingo Care Network of Victoria.

In 2007 she told ABC774 Radio in Melbourne that she had two pet dingoes that were registered with local authorities and slept on her bed.

Fechner did not appear in court.

Both women's cases were adjourned for mention in the court on November 24.

Neither Caroline Hanger nor Simon Stretton appeared in court.

Stretton, from Durong South in the South Burnett region, was unable to make it to court because he was in hospital in Brisbane. He was charged with one count of disturbing an animal and one count of feeding an animal.

His case was adjourned for mention in the court on December 8.

Caroline Hanger lives at Cooloola.

DERM prosecutor Mr Goldsworthy said Hanger had not yet been served with documents regarding the prosecution.

Mr Goldsworthy asked for Hanger's case to be adjourned to a date fixed by the court registrar.

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