Dingo breeder faces court

Simon John Stretton has been fined $1200 after pleading guilty to one charge of disturbing a dangerous animal and one charge of failing to keep food from animals.
Simon John Stretton has been fined $1200 after pleading guilty to one charge of disturbing a dangerous animal and one charge of failing to keep food from animals. Averyll Loft

A DINGO breeder who accompanied wildlife photographer Jennifer Parkhurst to Fraser Island in 2009 to “watch her at work with the dingoes” yesterday fronted Maryborough Magistrates Court on charges of interfering with the wild animals.

Simon John Stretton, the first person in Queensland to open a private pure-bred dingo sanctuary, was fined $1200 after pleading guilty to one charge of disturbing a dangerous animal and one charge of failing to keep food from animals.

The court heard the Department of Environment and Resource Management brought charges against the 53-year-old conservationist from Kingaroy after they raided Parkhurst’s Rainbow Beach home on August 24, 2009.

Among items seized were video recordings of him and Parkhurst interacting with the “Hook Point pack” dingoes during a trip to the island on August 2.

“In the footage the defendant is clearly seen approaching the dingoes,” DERM prosecutor Peter Kelly said. “He is seen approaching what is known as a natal den, taking photos and walking around. At one stage the dingoes were within a short distance.”

Parkhurst – who was fined $40,000 and sentenced to a suspended jail term last year for her “campaign of feeding the dingoes” – and Stretton were then seen to leave two bags on the ground.

“The dingoes and pups are seen accessing the food emanating from inside the packs,” Mr Kelly said.

The court heard Stretton had no idea he was breaching the Fraser Island’s Nature Conservation Act when he approached the animals with Parkhurst.

“I went over to the island as an observer ... obviously what I’ve done at home is ok but on Fraser Island it’s not.”

As for the charge of failing to keep food from the dingoes, Stretton said that was an accident – although he did believe the Fraser Island dingoes were starving.

“I’m very sorry to find myself before the court,” he said.

In 2009, Stretton made headlines when he gained State Government approval to set up the Durong Dingo Sanctuary near Kingaroy.

He has been breeding dingoes for Australian zoos and sanctuaries ever since – including two pups which will soon be delivered to Maryborough’s TESS Wildlife Sanctuary.

Stretton appealed to Magistrate Denis Beutel for a small fine in court yesterday due to limited income from his disability pension.

He said he was still struggling to find funds to fix fencing that was destroyed in the recent floods.

Mr Beutel took into account the small part that Stretton played in the offences before the court.

“It’s clear from the facts you were not a person who engaged in this act over a long period of time,” he said.

“Clearly you are remorseful ... you were unaware of the provisions on the island.”

Mr Beutel said he appreciated the fact a conviction “may well have an adverse effect” on Stretton and ordered that no conviction be recorded.

‘In the footage the defendant is clearly seen approaching the dingoes’ – DERM prosecutor Peter Kelly

8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blurprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

TELSTRA DOWN? Why mobile, internet, Foxtel may be out

TELSTRA customers were forced to face a mass outage today

WATCH: Flour mill building on the market in Maryborough

View from the top of the tower.

"It is being marketed as a prime redevelopment site."

Local Partners

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Prince Harry admits no one in the royal family particularly wants to be king or queen

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

What's in store for Nina and Billie on Offspring?

Kat Stewart and Asher Keddie star in season seven of Offspring.

Proudman sisters return, but their lives aren’t slowing down.

What's on the big screen this week

Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager in a scene from the movie Transformers: The Last Knight.

STUDIOS begin to roll out their school holiday offerings.

MOVIE REVIEW: Rough Night is rude, shocking and funny

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Illana Grazer and Kate McKinnon in a scene from Rough Night.

FOUR best friends reunite for a wild weekend, what could go wrong?

Grinspoon to smash footy gig curse

Pat Davern and Phil Jamieson wearing their true colours.

THE battle for State of Origin rock supremacy is on.

Rebel’s lawyer names huge sum

Hollywood agent Peter Principato told the court Rebel Wilson should have been landing between two and three lead roles a year at a minimum.

Hollywood star wants a staggering amount in damages.

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Renters warned about online real estate scam

The scam ad for a property for rent in Albert Park.

Australian renters have been warned about an elaborate scam

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!