Hunting in NSW National Parks
On the 27th June 2012, the NSW government passed an Act that will allow recreational shooters to hunt feral animals in our national parks.
Consequently 79 National Parks, Reserves and State Recreation Areas in NSW have been identified as areas where amateur hunters can engage in “Supplementary Pest Control”
The legislation excludes hunting in National parks listed as Heritage or Wilderness . However parks such as Barrington Tops and Oxley Wild Rivers have both classifications plus areas unclassified where amateur hunting will occur.
The largest areas for hunting are in the zone C classification which allows amateurs to hunt entirely unsupervised. The State government has made assurances that these areas are in remote with low visitation. However that assurance is a farce as Myall Lakes, South-East Forest ( 5 km from Merimbula), Morton, Barrington Tops and Oxley Wild Rivers are all included in Zone C. None of which could be considered either remote or of low visitation.
Amateur hunters do not need to announce their presence when in a National Park. Meaning, they may be hunting right near you, your friends and family. Sadly as numerous hunting deaths have shown, you may not be aware until it is too late!
Only an R license is required to hunt in a NSW national park. It includes the use of bows, firearms, dogs and black powder although the use of dogs is currently disallowed.
There is no eye test, no feral animal recognition required, no need to have fired a rifle previously and no shooting accuracy test.
Following this, a licensee may simply book a hunt online via the Game Council of NSW website and then be free to hunt.
Also, there has been a recent attempt by the Game Council to include children as young as twelve to participate in bow hunting under this legislation. The idea has not been ruled out!
Initially the hunting was to begin as early as December 2012 but due to the leaking of the State Governments own risk assessment report which shows a vast increase in risk and injury to ALL park users, the start date has been continually postponed.
The current commencing date for amateur hunting is, according the Premier O’Farrell "sometime soon" This will coincide with the completion of an audit into the functions and governance of the NSW Game Council, the state government agency that will oversee amateur hunting in national parks.
Work Health and Safety legislation requires risks to be identified and reduced or eliminated not increased. To knowingly increase a risk of injury to a person is illegal, however it seems politicians are exempt from legal action under the current WHS legislation.
Premier O’Farrell and Minister Parker still insist that amateur hunting in our National Parks will be implemented heedless of the risk to us, the park users, and the plants and animals that reside there.
Premier O’Farrell and Minister Parker why are you knowingly placing the people of NSW at risk?
All we want to do is visit our National Parks without the threat of injury or death to our loved ones and ourselves.
I ask all readers to support and sign this petition urging Premier O’Farrell and Minister Parker to abandon all plans of amateur shooting in NSW National parks, reserves and conservation areas now and in the future.