Bob Katter Ridicules Terri Irwin's Views On Crocodiles
In a shock croc mock, Bob Katter wants crocodiles removed from populated areas of Queensland. We asked exactly how you'd do that. That opened an old wound.
The story so far...
Once upon a time, just after the same sex marriage postal survey in Australia, Bob Katter, the long-serving independent member for the northern Queensland seat of Kennedy, did a hilarious interview that went viral.
After giving his begrudging approval to the nation's YES vote, Katter barely paused for breath, then said:
"But I ain't spending any time on it, because in the meantime, every three months, a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland."
Wait, what? How did the conversation shift so quickly from same sex marriage to dismemberment by primitive reptiles? As you'll see in the video above, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert asked exactly the same thing.
Here at 10 daily, we wanted to know more. We wanted to know what anyone can actually do about saltwater crocodile attacks in northern Australia. Are they not inevitable?
When Bob Katter visited 10 daily this week after co-hosting Studio 10, we asked him just that.
"It's very simple," he replied. "You just remove all the crocodiles from all of the populated areas [of north Queensland] and you return nature to what it was before.
"The first Australians took the eggs and smaller crocodiles and ate them," he added, referring to an indigenous practice which helped keep croc numbers low.
We put it to Bob that despite evidence of croc-control in the past, there are still numerous critics of the modern day practice of removing crocs. One of the highest-profile critics is Terri Irwin, who once wrote:
"We will never be able to remove all crocs from a river system (they can travel 60km a day) but removing some of the crocodiles leads to a false sense of security."
That really set Bob off.
"What an extraordinary intellectual revelation!" he exclaimed. "I mean, that woman never ceases to amaze me with her towering intellect.
"Oh they come back. Oh, Terri. Oh, geez. That's something none of us knew!
"Of course they come back. But you keep removing them, right?"
Bob was getting wound up by this stage. He talked with a mixture of anger and sadness about a lake near Cairns where kids used to swim but now can't because it is croc-infested.
"In the past they were shot, everyone had the right to shoot them," he said.
"You know, there is something singularly sick about a society that will protect crocodiles but not human beings. The definition of a psycopath is a person who has no emotional feelings for their fellow human beings."
There are moments in a journalist's career when you ask yourself: "Do I or don't I? Should I or shouldn't I?"
These were the questions flashing through your humble correspondent's mind in the micro-seconds after Bob defined a psycopath. And the next thought was: "Oh, bugger it. Why not?"
"I thought 'a person with no emotional feelings for their fellow human being' was the definition of a politician," I said.
Phew! Bob laughed that one off with a hearty north Queensland chortle.
"Well that could be entirely valid because our two so-called leaders -- who couldn't lead a horse to water -- they most certainly fit into that category," he said.
"We [politicians] used to be amongst the top of the tree. Now journalists are above us, lawyers are above us, we're the bottom of the bottom."
Not true, Bob. Fake news. Even the worst of you are above the crocs. Well, maybe just.
In all seriousness, Katter made a really great point about the days when politicians were people's heroes because, shock horror, they actually listened to them.
"The politicians when I was a kid, we revered them," he said. "They felt for us, they knew the pain we were in and they would fight for us.
"I don't know what god politicians are following now, but it sure ain't the people."