Photographer fights dingo charges
WILDLIFE photographer Jennifer Louise Parkhurst will fight accusations that she fed and interferred with Fraser Island’s dingoes.
The Rainbow Beach woman arrived at the Maryborough Magistrates Court yesterday surrounded by more than a dozen supporters, many wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Save The Fraser Island Dingo”.
Parkhurst appeared calm as she faced a large media contingent outside the courthouse.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management brought 46 charges against Parkhurst after seizing her camera and computer gear during a raid of her Rainbow Beach home in August last year.
Her supporters crowded into the back of Maryborough’s tiny downstairs courtroom as Magistrate John Smith read out the details of the charges.
She was accused of feeding an animal in a recreation area on 34 occasions between July 4, 2008, and March 31, 2009.
Parkhurst also faces four charges of interfering with a natural resource in a protected area, alleged to have been committed between July 27, 2008, and August 10, 2009.
Eight charges of disturbing an animal between October 26, 2008, and May 24, 2009, were also read out in court.
The offences were alleged to have happened on Fraser Island, where Parkhurst often works.
She was represented in court by solicitor John Rivett, who said his client would be pleading not guilty to all charges.
A lengthy adjournment was requested to allow time for DERM officers to trawl through their evidence.
“There is a huge amount of electronic material to go through that will ultimately make up the brief of evidence,” DERM prosecutor Petrina Prowse said.
Ms Prowse said 17 terabytes of data had to be examined.
“We have started but there is still a way to go,” she said.
The magistrate adjourned the case for hearing mention on May 19.
A second Rainbow Beach resident, Adam Randall, has also been charged with interfering with the dingoes and DERM employee Les Gallehawk was fined and dismissed from his job after feeding a dingo on the island.