‘Cost effective’ solution needed for croc watching hotspot

MOWBRAY RIVER

Mark Murray

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A drone captures two crocodiles on the banks of the Mowbray River near the Mowbray Bridge, south of Port Douglas. IMAGE: Andrew Nicholls.
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TOURISTS continue to put themselves in harm's way on the Mowbray Bridge as they attempt to catch a glimpse of three large crocodiles inhabiting the area.

Port Douglas Police chief Damien Meadows has urged the community to start reporting people walking along the bridge as they build a case for a ‘cost effective’ answer to the popular croc spotting location on the Mowbray River.

Douglas Shire Council had committed to rebuilding a fishing platform at the site but had their plans squashed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, who demanded expensive road works at the cost of ratepayers.

Council had set aside $100,000 for the project but were told it would cost a further $400,000 to introduce the required pullover and turning lanes.

Senior Sergeant Meadows said he had contacted the Department to discuss suitable options in a bid to safeguard the area.

“We need to come up with a solution and one that is more cost effective than what has been suggested in the past,” he said.

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"At the end of the day, we can’t have people walking across the Mowbray Bridge to have a look at these crocs. We are talking about a 100km zone on a bend on the Captain Cook Highway, so it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Mr Meadows pleaded for locals to contact police ‘every time you see someone walking along the bridge’ as they seek data on the frequency of cars pulling over on the highway.

He also urged wildlife enthusiasts to use the headland on the neighbouring cane paddock if attempting to see the crocodiles from a safe distance.

"It's a popular spot to see these animals, especially at low tide, but unfortunately we can't be there all the time to monitor the road," he said.

"We just want people to be safe."

More to come…

 

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