The announcement late last night that police have charged the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Game Council with a string of firearms and illegal hunting offences means it is now time for the government to suspend all hunting on the 2 million hectares of public land that is overseen by the failing Game Council.
Greens MP and firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“With the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Game Council facing a string of firearms and illegal hunting charges, the public can have little confidence that this pro-hunting lobby group can safely regulate any form of hunting on public land.
“Deal after deal between a minority of Shooters MPs and both Labor and Coalition governments have given over more than 2 million hectares of state forests over to hunters and there are ongoing moves to expand that hunting into National Parks.
“From day one the Game Council has been criticised as a publicly funded pro-hunting lobby group and these latest developments confirm this fact.
“The Game Council cannot be trusted to regulate its own employees hunting activities, let alone the thousands of amateur hunters they send into state forests every day.
“With report after report of illegal hunting by licensed amateur hunters coming to light in recent months, and now the most senior employee of the Game Council facing such serious charges, it is time to end this failed experiment in hunting on public land.
“With only 5.2 full time equivalent inspectors to oversee hunting in 2 million hectares of state forests the Game Council has never been capable of safely overseeing amateur hunting.
“After more than a decade of hunting in state forests amateur hunters have failed to control a single feral pest species in a single forest, they are a comprehensive failure.
“The Premier must immediately call a halt on all amateur hunting that the Game Council pretends to regulate across NSW,” Mr Shoebridge said.