The reopening of State Forests to amateur hunters presents a real and ongoing risk of people being shot. Despite the government’s own assessment identifying the dangers, it continues to send armed, unsupervised amateur hunters into public forests across NSW.
The list of forests declared open for hunting is available here.
A copy of the Government’s own risk assessment can be downloaded here: Forestry Corporation of NSW Report – Review of the Risk Analysis of Permitted Hunting in NSW State Forests
“Ad hoc amateur hunting is not about feral pest control, it’s all about bloodsports and that should not be happening in our public forests.Greens MP and Firearms Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“More than a decade of amateur hunting in State Forests has failed to control a single feral pest species in a single forest.
“A key failing in reopening of forests for hunting is the absence of even the most basic competency testing for amateur hunters.
“Hunters are being let loose on public land and no one ever checks they can shoot with any accuracy, let alone tell feral pests from native animals.
“Without competency testing they are a clear danger to other users in the forests whether forestry workers or the general public.
“Documents show that Forestry Corporation and the Government are aware of the risks, yet intend to proceed with their plans to reopen these lands to armed amateurs.
“What is clear is that the ongoing campaign against hunting on public land has forced the Government to impose tighter controls including compulsory GPS for hunters. However even with these modest improvements it does not make the practice either safe or humane”, Mr Shoebridge said.