Federal MP Bob Katter believes the man accused of shooting dead a 5.2m-long saltwater crocodile should receive a ‘‘humanity award’’ instead of being prosecuted.
Police issued a notice to appear at court to a 31-year-old Etna Creek man on Friday on one count of unlawfully taking a protected animal.
The reptile was found floating in the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton on September 21, having been shot a number of times.
If convicted the man, who will face Rockhampton Magistrates’ Court on January 12, could cop a fine of up to $28300.
Mr Katter — whose claim in November that ‘‘every three months, a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland’’ went viral — said the man should be applauded, not prosecuted.
‘‘I tell you what I’d do if I was on the jury, I’d recommend he be given an award,’’ Mr Katter said.
‘‘A humanity award for protecting his family and his fellow Australians from one of the most dangerous animals on earth.’’
The Member for Kennedy also took aim at Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch for issuing a Christmas holiday safety message to boaties, anglers and people camping near waterways in the state’s north.
‘‘It’s perfectly possible to live and play safely in croc country by being Crocwise, and that means taking steps to reduce risk during your visit,’’ a statement from Ms Enoch issued on Thursday read.
Mr Katter said the warnings were meaningless and tourism in the state’s north was looking at ‘‘serious trouble’’ due to crocodile fears.
Mr Katter said his proposal to have any sighted crocodile removed from populated areas of north Queensland would bring economic and safety benefits.
He said crocodile farms across the region were willing to receive removed animals, with French fashion house Louis Vuitton already having a crocodile farm on the Paradise Coast between Cairns and Townsville.
‘‘We can turn it into a useful profitable industry, we can keep our people protected, we can restore our tourism industry ... but (Deputy Premier) Jackie Trad might lose 10 votes to the Greens in Brisbane if you do that,’’ he said.