Bob Irwin, father of self-styled “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, says that, unlike his late son, Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory should not be able to profit from the utilisation of crocodiles and other native wildlife.
According to an article in Perth Now, members of the Bob Irwin Wildlife and Conservation Foundation have labelled the NT Government’s croc safari hunting proposal “archaic” and say legal action could be taken because they believe selling permits for croc hunting through indigenous communities could be in breach of the Native Title Act 1993.
The Northern Territory Government is seeking 20 to 50 single-kill permits a year for trophy hunting, which would come from the already allocated 600 yearly quota to remove crocs from the harbour.
The foundation and the Animal Coalition have backed Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s stance against croc safari hunting.
Mr Irwin, the father of late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. said hunting protected animals for commercial purposes was against the spirit of the Act.
“It’s my opinion that we should be hunting these animals with cameras not with guns,” he said.
He said his foundation and the larger Animal Coalition were unsure the NT Government had any legal right to sell permits through indigenous communities for croc safari hunting.
“Well I think it’s certainly an area that we will explore to make sure that what they are proposing is legal and I’m not so sure under the Native Title Act,” Mr Irwin said.
Mr Riddell said it would open the floodgate for people to sell their permits.
“If there are 20 of the 600 permits for safari hunting, and the other 580 they don’t get to sell their permits for $35,000, what happens to those people.”
Mr Riddell said croc safari hunting was not the right way for indigenous communities to create income.