Truck driver accused of illegally killing dugongs
A TRUCK driver has denied illegally killing two dugongs at Clairview.
It is alleged the incident occurred more than two years ago, but only came to the attention of Department of Environment and Science investigators in August last year.
Elwyn James Mann is charged with using a boat to go into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on July 21, 2018 to fish, hunt, take and/or possess a natural or cultural resource to which he was not permitted.
It is further alleged he removed two dugongs from waters near Clairview and Flock Pigeon Island coastal area conservation park.
He is charged with entry or use for a prohibited purpose - taking of natural or cultural resources under the Marine Parks Act.
Dugongs are listed as vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act and as a protected species under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations.
If convicted the maximum penalty is a fine totalling $400,350.
The case was mentioned in Mackay Magistrates Court last week, however Mr Mann did not appear and was granted permission for his absence because he lived at Joskeleigh, just south of Keppel Sands.
ATSILS solicitor Chris Colwill, who represented Mr Mann, sought an adjournment to speak with him about the matter.
Paperwork indicted Mr Mann intended to plead not guilty to the charge.
The court heard ATSILS Mackay may ask leave to withdraw on the case because it involved cultural-based matters and the organisation needed to remain neutral.
Matters were adjourned to October 20 for mention.