Teacher hospitalised after horrifying dog attack

A teacher had to be flown to hospital following a terrifying dog attack on Palm Island.

The Bwgcolman Community School teacher had to jump a high storm wall along the Palm Island esplanade when she was attacked by two dogs on Tuesday afternoon about 4.30pm.

She was left with bite wounds to her legs, shoulder injury and a broken ankle.

Palm Island Environment and Essential services manager Lex Wotton said the incident must have been terrifying for the woman in her thirties.

"We found the lady on the side of the beach because to get away from the dogs she had to jump over a rock wall that was about six metres high," Mr Wotton said.

"She had her earphones on when they attacked her and had a really good go at her, two other locals rushed to her aid because they were going for her neck."

Mr Wotten said paramedics were racing against the clock to get the lady to safety before the afternoon tide swept in.

"Paramedics were there trying to stabilise her while the tide was coming in behind them and after about an hour we just got her into the ambulance before the water was hitting her body,"

Paramedics transported the teacher to Joyce Palmer Health service in a stable condition before she was airlifted to Townsville Hospital where she remains in a stable condition.

Mr Wotten, who oversees the animal control department on Palm Island said the issue has become 'out of control'.

"It's pretty bad, they're always starving and having too many litters, it is dangerous but it's a health hazard as well," he said.

"There's probably a good couple of hundreds of dogs and no one's trying to do anything, owners need to know their responsibilities."

Mr Wotten said he wanted to see certain dogs destroyed or removed from the island.

"We have people that are supposed to make sure these laws are implemented but there is a lack of responsibility and people aren't being held accountable," he said.

"We have a lot of these dogs that interbreed and have this bull-mastiff type breed, the council should make it a policy that they should be destroyed and be banned."

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said animal control was the responsibility of local council and needed to be addressed on Palm Island.

"I am more than aware it's an issue (roaming dogs) but it's not a matter for state, council have got to take action on this, they can't dodge and weave their responsibility," he said.

Queensland Teachers Union President Kevin Bates said additional protection requirements need to me met for teachers working in remote communities.

"Like police and nurses and ambulance, these teachers are living in the community they work in and it's unique with many government workers because most others visit," he said.

"There are additional requirements on workers that are there on behalf of the government that they are provided with all the protections that are necessary.

"If the person was travelling home from work it is a matter that might need to be considered by WorkCover, we would support our member to make a claim on the employer if the circumstance warranted."

A Queensland department of education spokeswoman said it would provide support to the teacher.

"The Department wishes the staff member a full and speedy recovery," she said.

"The school and regional office will work closely with the teacher to support their return to work."

Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey wasn't able to be contacted for comment.


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