New South Wales government starts trial of hunting in national parks
Monday, February 17, 2014
On Friday afternoon, amateur shooters were briefed about a three-year-long trial of hunting in national parks of New South Wales, Australia. The meeting was held in near , where the first shooting operation of the trial was to occur on Saturday, targeting the .
The(NPWS) has used aerial culls and baiting to reduce Cocoparra's goat population, but there are said to be thousands of goats at the reserve. The feral animals to be hunted in other reserves may include cats, deer, dogs, and pigs, beside goats — depending on the reserve.
Shooters in the supplementary pest control trial were to be closely supervised by rangers, as the trial was monitored and its effectiveness evaluated. In a partnership of NPWS and the(NSW) Inc, qualified volunteers were recruited, under the Sporting Shooters Association's hunting program. According to Mick O'Flynn, the Acting Director Park Conservation and Heritage with the NPWS, the four shooters selected for the first shooting operation received comprehensive safety and training instruction.
Following announcement of the close partnership of shooters with NWPS staff, thecancelled planned picketing of the first shooting operation. However, State Greens MP (Member of Parliament) warned, "This needs to be a government-run program, not run by the biggest gun lobby group in Australia". He called limiting the meeting to members of the Sporting Shooters Association "outrageous". Another concern raised by the Greens was the danger of armed people, not only to animals, but also to people visiting the national parks, should the shooters be unsupervised after the trial.
The trial was announced in the second half of 2013, though the plan has been significantly modified over time and has come to be regulated under the, in contrast with the original proposal of recreational hunting in national parks, as it was announced in May 2012 by New South Wales Premier . This amendment of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act was part of a deal with the . The government needed at least one vote from a Shooters and Fishers Party MP to pass electricity privatisation legislation, as both and Greens opposed it. O'Farrell's plans to allow pest control by licensed individuals called for licencing by the of New South Wales.
Following a report sharply criticizing the Game Council, the government dissolved it in mid-2013, suspended hunting on public lands, and reconsidered the plan to allow amateur hunters into national parks — thus breaking the earlier promise to the Shooters and Fishers Party.
- Liv Casben. "Trial of hunting in NSW national parks kicks off" — , February 14, 2014
- Cameron Wilson. "Shooting trial starts in NSW national parks" — , February 13, 2014
- "Supplementary pest control" — , January 21, 2014
- Kirsty Needham. "Goats in sights for first hunt in NSW national park" — , January 19, 2014
- Liz Foschia. "Decision on trials of hunting in NSW national parks due shortly" — , October 15, 2013
- Sean Nicholls. "Premier's park hunting backdown the price of power sale" — , May 30, 2012