Fraser Island dingo fence and 10K fines to curb attacks on Queensland tourists

By Melissa Coade

May 17, 2021

Meaghan Scanlon
Queensland youth affairs minister Meaghan Scanlon. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

A fence stretching almost seven kilometres will be installed around a township on Fraser Island (or K’gari) to limit human interaction with the local dingoes and protect the tourism drawcard for the region.

Queensland environment minister Meaghan Scanlon announced the $2 million fencing will be erected around the township of Orchid Beach on the world-heritage listed island following community concerns about the increasingly daring dingoes. 

“While families heading to the island have remained vigilant when travelling near dingo habitat, there have, sadly, been a number of incidents where people have been injured,” Ms Scanlon said. 

“Fencing will protect visitors, Orchid Beach locals and K’gari’s native dingo population.”

According to the minister, rangers have reported that the local K’gari dingoes are no longer afraid to approach humans — because they have either been deliberately fed or eaten food scraps.

To discourage the trend, Queensland will also hike up its on-the-spot fines for feeding or disturbing local dingoes with a maximum penalty of $10,676.

Harvey Bay MP Adrian Tantari raised concerns about recent dingo incidents with the Queensland government, which spends about $10 million annually for the management of Fraser Island national parks alongside the work of K’gari’s Traditional Owners.

“The fencing will make sure visitors can be as safe as possible when visiting the island, but also that our native fauna populations are protected from human interaction,” Tantari said.

“It will also act as an important reminder for people to be mindful that they’re visiting an area native to dingoes, and to be dingo-safe every time they visit.”

Existing fencing already exists around 24 local campgrounds throughout K’gari, as well as the townships of Eurong, Happy Valley and Kingfisher Bay Resort.

The state government hopes that the additional fencing and associated security will bolster the $2.6 billion that flows from Queensland’s national parks tourism economy each year. The government has announced another $4.8 million will go towards new cultural tourism opportunities. 

“We want families to continue to visit K’gari, because it means jobs for our community, our retailers, cafes and businesses,” Tantari said.

“Promoting and protecting our national parks is a key component of our region and state’s economic recovery plan from COVID-19.”

Consultation with the local community will soon be underway to ensure that the design and alignment of the new fence, vehicle entry points and pedestrian gates has the input of local representatives. 

“The Butchulla people have managed K’gari as its traditional owners for thousands of years, and we’ll work with them to get this right,” Ms Scanlon said.

A tender process for the fence’s construction will follow. 


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