A Fraser Island dingo chewing on a coconut.
A Fraser Island dingo chewing on a coconut. Nigel Rickards

BUSTED: Man caught by guests feeding dingoes pizza

A FRASER Island home owner has been busted feeding dingoes on his Orchid Beach property.

Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday heard guests of his holiday rental, Break Sea Holiday house, and island residents complained to rangers about the man feeding dingoes multiple times between November 2018 and May 2019.

A family from NSW, who were renting the holiday house, contacted rangers in April. The family, concerned about the safety of their children, said Gary John Schneider, 60, was allegedly feeding a pack of dingoes food scraps, including pizza, from the caretaker's cottage.

The court heard rangers attended the holiday house and spoke with Schneider after each complaint.

They warned him feeding dingoes was an offence and had health ramifications for the animals.

On June 13, a Kingaroy detective travelled to Schneider's Yamanto home to question him about the complaints.

The court heard Schneider told the detective he would leave fish carcasses on the grass which the dingoes would eat but denied feeding them.

However, Schneider changed his facts in court.

Duty lawyer Harry Morris said his client sprayed food scraps with a deterrent to stop them from visiting the property.

"He would put a spray on the food similar to a spray a farmer would use to protect their livestock to essential ward off dingoes and dogs," Mr Morris said.

"They eat the food and it makes them feel a little bit ill and then they don't come back."

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge dismissed the claim and reminded Schneider he was warned to stop feeding the dingoes more than once.

Prosecution withdrew two charges of feeding dingoes. Schneider pleaded guilty to one charge of feeding dingoes. He was fined $1500. No conviction was recorded.

This was the first case through Hervey Bay Magistrates Court since the State Government increased penalties for intentionally feeding dingoes.

From June 21, fines for feeding or disturbing dingoes increased from $391 to $2088 and the maximum fine doubled from $5222 to $10,444 per offence.