The Greens NSW have welcomed the announcement of a review of the governance of the Game Council and the suspension of hunting in national parks, calling on the government to take the next step and suspend hunting in state forests.
Greens NSW Environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said:
“The community will be very happy with this decision and will be desperately hoping that its more than a temporary reprieve. The deal to open parks to recreational hunters never had anything to do with genuine feral animal control and the public saw straight through the government’s spin.”
“Hard battles have been fought over many decades for the declaration of national parks, reserves and state conservation areas for wildlife conservation. These battles were not fought to see them become play grounds for recreational hunting. The community has told the government loud and clear that they won’t stand for it,” Ms Faehrmann said.
Greens NSW Firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The Game Council was set up in 2002 by the Labor Party in a deal with the Shooters and for a decade they have been little more than a publicly funded lobby group pushing guns, hunting and bloodsports.
“Both Shooters Party MPs in NSW Parliament are former chairmen of the Game Council, which gives some idea of how the organisation is run.
“Despite millions of dollars being spent on the Game Council, in the decade of amateur hunting in state forests not one feral population has been successfully controlled in a single State Forest. The government should immediately take the next step and suspend hunting in state forests.
“Only 4.2 full time equivalent Game Council staff police the actions of more than 16,000 amateur hunters across 400 state forests covering 2 million hectares of public land. This is pretend policing and is indicative of a ramshackle organisation more interested in pushing bloodsports on children than ensuring safe, effective and humane feral pest control,” Mr Shoebridge said.