Bob Katter
Bob Katter Megan Pope

Katter's idea to rid reef of pest

NORTH Queensland MP Bob Katter says placing a $10 bounty on the crown-of-thorns starfish would help eradicate this "deadly enemy" of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Member for Kennedy called on all councils from Mackay to Cairns to pool resources to combat the threat posed by the pest.

While unable to put a figure on the cost of the bounty system, Mr Katter said some of the money could be recouped through tourism.

"Every year we could run a competition for the 'King and Queen of the Reef' - the winner being the one who has collected the most crown-of-thorns starfish," Mr Katter said.

"This competition tied with a $10 bounty would remove this predator and help stimulate our tourism industry."

Mr Katter said such an initiative would do more to protect the reef than the government's marine park plan announced in June.

"Scuba divers from around the world could explore our reef and get paid to remove one of its deadliest enemies," he said.

"We must take heed of this alarming report from the eminent scientists in AIMS, acknowledge that GBRMPA is not doing its job, and start calling for bounty hunters."