It’s been one year since our client, croc conservationist Bob Irwin and his C.R.O.C team, launched their critical campaign for the protection of our majestic saltwater crocodiles. Our lawyers have worked with them to improve legal protections for this vulnerable species. 

Crocodiles play a vital role in their ecosystems. As key predators, they maintain the balance and health of our coastal rivers and wetlands and are important totem animals for many First Nations peoples.  

But in the past few years, a disturbing trend has emerged of people filming encounters with crocodiles for social media. These incidents are not only dangerous for people but put crocodiles at risk. Healthy crocs are killed if they are deemed to be “problem crocs” following an attack. 

On behalf of Bob, we’re proposing simple changes to the law that would create an offence for those who recklessly use crocodile habitat, along with penalties for people who disturb crocs to make social media content. 

In this video, EDO Managing Lawyer Kirstiana Ward and Solicitor Naim Santoso-Miller speak to Amanda French, Co-founder of the Community Representation of Crocodiles (C.R.O.C), about everything we’ve achieved together in the past 12 months.  

Traditional Owner Kathleen and Francis Walker, from Wujal Wujal Country north of Kulki/Cape Tribulation, where two crocs were killed last year following an unnecessary human interaction, wrote to the Environment Minister to support the proposed reforms. 

Kathleen and her sister Francis have been vocal advocates for the Bilngkumu (crocodile) and the role of Traditional Knowledge in protecting wildlife. We’ve worked alongside them to ensure they are directly involved in the decision-making and management of crocodiles on Country. 

Thanks to the commitment of our client Bob, Kathleen and Francis’ passionate advocacy and our legal expertise and representation, the government has committed to reducing the number of human-crocodile interactions. It is reviewing options for legislative reform, including ensuring offences and penalties provide a deterrent against risky behaviours in croc habitat and has boosted funding for its Crocwise safety program.  

EDO will be attending the Minister’s Environment Round Table in March to talk about how the legislative reforms are progressing and how EDO can assist other conservation groups to create better laws for protected species.