Jeff Horwich: They’re looking for their own special kind of economic stimulus in Australia. The government wants to boost the sagging tourism industry. One idea: Bring back the crocodile hunt.
Here’s Stuart Cohen in Sydney.
Stuart Cohen: It’s been more than 40 years since recreational hunters were allowed to kill australia’s crocodiles. The country’s untamed northern territory still has plenty of crocs. What it doesn’t have is plenty of tourists, thanks in large part to the a soaring aussie dollar which makes it expensive to travel here.
The territory’s chief minister, Paul Henderson, says crocodile hunting could help fix that.
Paul Henderson: Come to the territory and bag a croc, if that’s what people want to do and they’re prepared to pay for it, I’m all for it. We need a boost to our tourism industry.
Henderson wants to let hunters kill 50 crocodiles a year as part of a two-year trial. He says safari hunting will bring in millions of tourism dollars and create jobs for the impoverished aborigine population. The proposal still needs federal government approval. Ironically, the family of the crocodile hunter, the late Steve Irwin, is one of strongest opponents of the plan.
In Sydney, I’m Stuart Cohen for marketplace.