While Amanda Vanstone and Philip Ruddock were doing
the blame-shift two-step yesterday over who’s responsible for the concentration
camp culture at DIMIA, another more vigorous clash of ministers was breaking

Imagine our surprise when the following press release crossed our
desk: “The decision of the Federal Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell,
not to allow the controlled trophy hunting of a limited number of problem
crocodiles in the Northern Territory was a missed opportunity, Tourism
Parliamentary Secretary Warren Entsch said today.”

Come again? No, this wasn’t a huffy statement from the
Opposition, or a backlash from the NT Labor government – it was a slapshot at
the minister from his own side.

Entsch complains: “While I understand the reasons the Minister
gave for his decision on this issue, I do not agree with him and I believe this
is a missed opportunity for the development of a new high yield niche tourism
market in the Northern Territory.”

Campbell’s decision “appeared to be based on emotion rather than fact, and demonstrates a lack
of understanding about the basic physiology and habits of crocodiles,” huffs
Warren, drawing on his experience as “a former crocodile catcher and

Parliament dwellers are struggling to remember the
last time one minister slagged off another via media release. There’s always
plenty of private bitchy briefing, of course, but rarely does it spill into
print. Check it out here.

Entsch is getting a robust reputation in his gig as
a middle bencher. Just the other day, he called for national parks to be opened
up for tourism operators. We await fellow Queenslander Campbell’s response to the crocodile catcher’s