Government fails to legislate to protect National Parks from amateur hunters

The O’Farrell Government has failed to deliver on its promise to properly protect National Parks from unsupervised amateur hunting and has signalled it will continue to promote hunting with scarce tax dollars.

Firearms and the Games Council

The Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced to parliament today and provides for the abolition of the Game Council as well as creating a new hunter-dominated board to advise government.

Greens MP and Firearms Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The Premier promised that under his new scheme the protections for the public would be the strongest in the country, but this bill fails to deliver that.

“With this Bill there is no requirement that amateur hunters on any public land be professionally supervised.

“The newly created advisory board risks repeating the past failures of the Game Council by being dominated by hunters and excluding animal welfare and firearms safety experts.

“The bill continues a legislative scheme that promotes hunting of deer and native water birds, all it has done is put the Department of Primary Industries in charge rather than the Game Council.

“While the abolition of the failed Game Council is a real positive, it should not just be replaced with a government department that is given the same pro-hunter agenda.

“This legislation retains the concept of ‘game animals’ and the ongoing promotion of amateur hunting, despite the fact that this unnecessarily diverts attention from professional and effective methods of feral animal control.

“The community in NSW has made it known that it opposes unsupervised amateur hunting in our State Forests and National Parks but it seems the Government has still not gotten the memo.

“The abolition of the Game Council remains a positive step by this government, and an achievement that the community should be proud of. Now is the time to build on that achievement,” Mr Shoebridge said.

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5 Responses to Government fails to legislate to protect National Parks from amateur hunters

  1. Wayne September 12, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    David,
    You keep refuring to hunters as being armatures, I do take offence to these comments, as someone who has grown up in the country and have had exposure to firearms since a very young age and hunting for more than 30years without ever having an incident or close call…..dose this mean I am an “amateur”.
    I could easly go and get a piece of paper that says I am a “professional”

    I am a responsible firearms owner and have been all my life all I see from the greens is constantly putting down law abiding people that aren’t “red necks” but caring family men/women, I to care about the safety of myself and others when hunting but there are vast areas of public land that should be opened up for responsible people to hunt on.

    • David September 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      The fact is Wayne that people who are not professionally trained are amateurs. As with any amateur sport or hobby there are some amateurs who are every bit as good, even better than, formally trained and accredited professionals. But equally there are a whole bunch who have less skill, less training and less competence.

      Just like we don’t let amateurs fix our electricals because a mistake can kill us, we should not let amateurs roam around public lands with a lethal weapon. I have met a good number of firearm owners who I acknowledge are responsible people. But this does not mean it is good public policy to let anyone with a gun licence and a Game Council/DPI licence out on their own hunting on public land with other members of the community.

  2. Gail Herbert September 14, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Thanks David
    Guns kill and maim. Even unwanted animals feel pain.
    I am interested in finding a more humane way of removing unwanted animals from our National Parks.
    Only the strongest animals would manage to survive being dumped. Even unwanted animals feel pain.

    Humans misguidedly brought foxes to Australia and it is humans who dump cats, dogs, horses etc as an easy way out.

    Has a method of contraception been followed-up?
    If contraception could be carried out on foxes, dumped cats, dogs, horses, camels and etc this would be a slower but a more humane method of solving this problem.

    We should not make them unwanted animals feel pain for OUR mistakes (or carelessness or stupidity).

    Gail, Blackheath NSW

    • Gail Herbert September 14, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks David
      Guns kill and maim. Even unwanted animals feel pain.
      I am interested in finding a more humane way of removing unwanted animals from our National Parks.

      Only the strongest animals would manage to survive being dumped.

      Humans misguidedly brought foxes to Australia and it is humans who dump cats, dogs, horses etc as an easy way out.

      Has a method of contraception been followed-up?
      If contraception could be carried out on foxes, dumped cats, dogs, horses, camels and etc this would be a slower but a more humane method of solving this problem.

      We should not make unwanted animals feel pain for OUR mistakes (or carelessness or stupidity).

      Gail, Blackheath NSW

  3. Wayne September 14, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    David,

    You keep refuring to NP’s as public land, just because I hunt does this mean I give up my right as a member of the public!

    Hunters and bush walkers can co-exists in our vast NP’s, there are risks involved in everything we do in life you only need to look at how many road deaths we have but I dont see you trying to stop people from driving cars, bush walkers die every year due to being lost and people risk their own lives searching for them but I don’t see you advocating baning bush walking.

    NP’s are public land and hunters are members of the public as well, I think you have conveniently forgot that fact.