The New South Wales Government has broken a core election promise not to allow hunting in our national parks. They have done a deal with the Shooters and Fisher's party (who hold 2 seats in the upper house of parliament, thus the balance of power) to allow hunting in 79 national parks, in return for their vote in support of the privatisation of the State's electricity system.
The change is to the Game and Feral Control Act and would allow shooters to apply for a permit to hunt feral 'pigs, dogs, cats, goats and deer' in 'specified areas'. These are not people hired by the Government to undertake controlled and directed culling activities but anyone who holds a gun licence. At this point, the Government is throwing open to them 79 national parks, including Kosciuszko National Park.
National parks in New South Wales are utilised by hundreds of thousands of people every year for enjoyment. These areas are listed national parks which help in protecting and propagating all types of native plants and animals currently listed by the Government in six categories - mostly Conservation Dependent, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered (the next two levels are Extinct in the Wild and Extinct).
Allowing hunters even restricted access to these areas is going to put the safety of all human users of these areas at risk of being shot. It is also going to have an enormous impact on the native animals as there is no easy way to distinguish if a fast moving or hidden animal is feral or a native creature. We could potentially witness hundreds of native animal species become extinct through indiscriminate shooting in these parks.
We the petitioners are demanding the Premier and the New South Wales Government immediately take steps to repeal the changes to this legislation and protect our National parks for future generations.
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