Two people have been arrested as a search continues for a group of people who abandoned a suspected illegal fishing boat in the Daintree River in far north Queensland.
Fisherman in the region reported seeing several people abandon a boat and flee into the rainforest near Cape Kimberley, which is a known crocodile habitat, on Sunday morning.
The Department of Home Affairs last night said authorities had so far found 11 people.
Australian Border Force officials, Queensland police and the State Emergency Service (SES) are continuing the search for others who were on the vessel, and said human safety was their top priority.
Police are searching cars and caravans at the Daintree River ferry to make sure no-one was stowed away.
SES acting local area director Peter Rinaudo said his crews worked until after midnight searching for those missing in the known crocodile habitat.
Mr Rinaudo said while details were scarce, police had requested 10 SES crews for a land search today.
“Crews will be briefed on the ground, but we will have crews searching through the mangroves today and two boat crews searching near the mouth of the Daintree River,” he said.
“It’ll be a hard slog, it’s still quite warm in there and it’ll be tough conditions for the guys.
“I hope the people, however many there are, get located — it’s not a nice area for them to be in.
“Obviously our main goal is to make sure our volunteers who have given up a day’s paid work get home safe.”
Bottled water and why Aussies still drink it
With one of the most stringent governances of tap water in the world, you would think developing a booming bottled water market in Australia is akin to selling ice to Eskimos.
- Over 250 guidelines govern Australian tap water
- The bottled water industry generates more than $700 million a year
- Blind testing has shown many people can’t tell the difference between bottle and tap
But despite publicity about plastic waste, effective marketing is not the only force steering consumers to a bottle.
Age, gender, culture, and lack of trust in water utilities all contribute.
Sydney Water last year commissioned research to understand the decline in trust of tap water, and confirmed bottled water marketing had an influence.
Western Sydney University’s Professor Gay Hawkins, who worked on the project, said the bottled water companies promoted purity.
“Even though the bottled water markets don’t explicitly criticise tap water, they undermine it by creating a new set of values around water in bottles,” she said.
Liberal Party elders lash Tony Abbott for acts of revenge on Turnbull’s government
Liberal Party elders have condemned Tony Abbott’s role in bringing down the Turnbull government, saying the former prime minister’s behaviour has been “lamentable”.
Conservative supporters of Mr Abbott have also told the ABC’s Four Corners that he had “unfinished business” and he actively contributed to the volatile climate in today’s Liberal Party.
Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer said the party has been wracked by bitterness since Malcolm Turnbull rolled Mr Abbott as prime minister.
“That in turn can lead to acts of attempted revenge,” he said.
Mr Downer said Mr Turnbull was right to exclude Mr Abbott from the frontbench after the 2015 leadership spill, a move that others say further contributed to the party turmoil.
“I don’t think Tony Abbott’s mindset was the mindset of playing in the team led by Malcolm Turnbull, in all honesty,” Mr Downer said.
“So I’m not sure that it was a mistake to exclude him from the Cabinet.”
The fallout from last week’s chaos has been reflected in the Newspoll result in the Australian that shows Coalition support plummeting and Labor leading 56 to 44 on a two party preferred basis.
Mr Abbott famously pledged not to wreck, undermine or snipe against Mr Turnbull, but former Liberal Party treasurer Michael Yabsley told Four Corners Mr Abbott has done just that.
“What Tony has done is really regrettable, lamentable. Tony made something of a statesman-like speech when Malcolm defeated him for the leadership … He has not delivered on that,” he said.
“On the contrary, he has destabilised. He has really done everything he could to make things as difficult as possible for Malcolm Turnbull.”