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Pauline Hanson Wants To Introduce Cane Toad Bounty

Australia should introduce a cane toad bounty, according to Pauline Hanson, whereby each dead toad returns a price of 10 cents. 

The One Nation leader proposed the scheme in a letter to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, arguing that nothing had yet worked to cull the 200 million-strong cane toad population.

"As Queensland and neighbouring states go through our summer months, a further explosion of cane toads are hatching, adding to the estimated 200 million already here in Australia," Hanson wrote.

Cane toads are devastating to native animals. Photo: Getty.

Cane toads have had a huge impact on native animals since being introduced from Hawaii in 1935 in a failed bid to eradicate beetles infesting sugar cane and spreading across most of northern Australia.

Their toxins make them deadly to lizards, quolls, dingoes and crocodiles which eat them.

"While I recognise the federal governments $2 million dollar research into cane toads in 2008, it is clear to most Australians, no solution was found to eradicate their existence," Hanson continued.

When speaking to the Nine network, Hanson even pushed the idea that people on welfare payments should earn money from the cane toad bounty, but did not elaborate further.

She did, however, say kids should "put down the iPads" and collect cane toads, using gloves as protection.

READ MORE: Cane Toads Riding A 3.5-Metre Python Apparently Trying To Get A Root

It's not the first time a cane toad bounty has been offered up as a solution.

In 2007, pub tycoon Tom Hedley offered a bounty of two beers for every bag of cane toads brought in, and in 2009, Townsville introduced an annual 'Toad Day Out' to encourage local residents to take part in a mass cull.

Toad Day Out was reportedly inspired by an episode of The Simpsons, where the residents of Springfield attempt to cull the local snake population on 'Whacking Day'.

"The cane toad is probably the most disgusting creature and the most destructive creature," Queensland Liberal MP Shane Knuth, who came up with the Toad Day Out idea, said at the time.

"They're killing out native wildlife, they're taking over our habitat and they're hopping all through this country."

But it doesn't appear Hanson's parliamentary colleagues are quite so keen on her idea.

Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton downplayed it as nothing more than an idea "designed to grab a bit of attention" for One Nation, while Health Minister Greg Hunt said the cane toad problem was probably best left to science.

With AAP.

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au