Revelations today that the Shooters Party had a veto over the terms of reference of the review into the Game Council are proof positive that the Premier remains tied hand and foot to the pro-gun lobby in the NSW Parliament and call not question the independence of the review.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph.
NSW Greens MP and Firearms Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The Premier has again been caught out giving the two pro-gun Shooters MPs an effective veto over the government’s regulation of shooting and hunting in NSW.
“There is a clear conflict of interest in giving the Shooters MPs sign-off over the terms of reference of the Game Council review.
“The two Shooters MPs are both former Chairman of the Game Council and their behaviour as chairs should clearly be a key part of the review, so how could the Premier decently give them sign-off over the inquiry’s terms of reference?
“This has all the hallmarks of a sham inquiry that has been designed so that the Premier can be seen to be acting rather than a genuine review of the incompetence and conflicts within the Game Council.
“Politics rarely gets grubbier than this kind of deal that sees the Premier promoting bloodsports on public land in return for a couple of votes in Parliament.
“Having already given the Shooters MPs the power to determine government policy on guns in national parks it is now revealed the Premier has also given them power over the review of the Game Council.
“The regulation of guns and hunting on public land is a matter of prime public importance and it is shameful that once again the Premier has handed over the real decision making power on this to the minority pro-gun Shooters Party.
“Just like Labor did in 2002 when it set up the Game Council, the O’Farrell government is giving the Shooters MPs and its pro-gun agenda a prominence in government that far outstrips their public support.
“The Premier should immediately establish a genuinely independent review of the Game Council to seriously consider its failure to regulate a safe or effective regime of amateur hunting on public land.
“This matter will not go away for Premier O’Farrell until he stands up for the public interest and once and for all terminates the reckless plan to allow amateur hunting in national parks,” Mr Shoebridge said.