This is the report in today's Sydney Morning Herald on the present
position with the proposed bill to allow shooting in NSW National Parks:
Cabinet backs off from plan to hunt in national park
Alexandra Smith and Andrew Clennell
June 23, 2009
THE Shooters Party's push to hunt native animals in national parks
appears to have been dealt a blow after state cabinet yesterday backed
away from supporting the bill.
The party introduced a private member's bill to allow recreational
hunters to shoot native animals and birds and to allow for private game
reserves to be set up for professional safari hunters.
But it is understood the issue divided cabinet yesterday, with the
Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, the Police Minister, Tony
Kelly, and the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, backing parts of the bill.
Mr Macdonald is believed to have pushed for cabinet to accept the bill
with amendments, including allowing shooters - rather than government
agencies - into national parks to cull feral animals.
But in what could be seen as a win for Nathan Rees and the Environment
Minister, Carmel Tebbutt - who both opposed the bill - a decision was
deferred until further talks could be held with the Shooters. The
Opposition, the Greens and environmental groups oppose the bill and the
Government had been accused of supporting it because it relied on the
Shooters Party for critical support in the upper house.
It is understood the Prisons Minister, John Robertson, warned the
Shooters Party could block key legislation in the upper house if it did
not win the support for its bill and another minister is believed to
have said the Shooters were "blackmailing" the Government.
Ms Tebbutt had said she would oppose key provisions in the bill and
earlier yesterday the Premier also said he had reservations about the bill.
"I'd need to be persuaded that the issues of personal safety, the issues
around native fauna and flora and so on are going to be properly
accommodated," Mr Rees told Fairfax radio.
The Opposition's environment spokeswoman, Catherine Cusack, said the
Coalition was opposed to shooting native species in national parks and
the establishment of private shooting reserves. "The shooting of
Australian native species in our national parks or exotic species in
private game parks are offensive concepts," Ms Cusack said. "If this
legislation is brought on the NSW Liberal [and] Nationals are armed and
ready to move legislative amendments to make sure it doesn't happen.
"We will oppose this and introduce other amendments aimed at genuinely
managing the real environmental and other threats posed by feral animals
- not Australian native species."
The Greens MP Ian Cohen said the bill would give concessions to hunters
under the guise of feral animal control. "I recognise that feral animals
are a problem in NSW national parks, but if they are to be culled then
it should be managed by trained Livestock Health and Protection
Authority officers," he said.
"Recreational hunters are not helping when it comes to feral species -
the reality is that hunters, with their dogs, are often a cause of pest
species dispersal, driving feral animals into national parks."
East Maitland NSW
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)