Queensland MP Bob Katter wants children to become cane toad bounty hunters, armed with low-powered air rifles in the hunt for pocket money.
Under Mr Katter’s $2 million plan, young people would collect 40 cents for every toad they kill in a bid to save the environment from the introduced pest.
“It’ll give a bit of fun for our kids and a bit of pocket money for them as well,” the crossbench MP told reporters in Townsville on Thursday.
Under a $2 million plan, Queensland MP Bob Katter wants children armed with low-powered air rifles to hunt cane toads in a bid to save the environment. (9NEWS)
Asked whether it was appropriate for children to be using air rifles, Mr Katter stressed the weapons would be low power before breaking out in laughter.
“Some of my friends have tried to hurt people but that’s not going to happen – they’re pretty harmless,” he said.
He believes his solution will teach young people the value of earning money by improving the environment.
Asked whether it was appropriate for children to be wielding potential weapons, Mr Katter claimed the rifles are ‘pretty harmless’. (Getty Images)
“Up close it’s just squeeze the trigger – end of story,” Mr Katter said.
“That’s simple instead of running around with golf clubs and spades, plastic bags and suffocating and pouring stuff on them – it’s just not working.”
Mr Katter has significantly upped the ante on Pauline Hanson’s call for a 10c toad bounty, a day after the One Nation leader revealed her three-month plan to punish pests.
Mr Katter’s calls come days after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for a 10c cane toad bounty, also urging children to help reduce the numbers of the pest. (9NEWS)
“All those people out there, ‘Work for the Dole’ doing absolutely nothing, or even kids on holidays, put down the iPads, get out there, collect the cane toads, take them to your local council, put them in the freezer, get rid of them and clean up our environment,” she told the TODAY Show this week.
But the Queensland politicians’ competing cash-for-cane-toad schemes could struggle to get off the ground with state and federal governments unlikely to hop on board.
Experts have also expressed their doubts over the plans. Professor Rob Capon from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience told 9News a bounty on toads was simply “not practical”.
Cane toads have had huge impacts on native animals, particularly in Queensland, after being introduced from Hawaii in 1935 in a failed bid to eradicate beetles. (ACT Parks and Conservation Service)
“From an ecological point of view it’s unlikely to have an impact on the cane toad population. On a practical level there are all manner of problems,” he said.
Cane toads have had a huge impact on native animals since being introduced from Hawaii in 1935 in a failed bid to eradicate beetles infesting sugar cane and spreading across most of northern Australia.