This issue was to be voted on in the New South Wales parliament in an earlier sitting but the government, concerned they would need the extra votes of the NSW Shooters Party to get the bill through the upper house, staged a walkout and the bill lapsed through want of debate.
However, it is again soon to be re-introduced after much publicity during the winter parliamentary break. Similar legislation is in place in Queensland which gives the horse riding fraternity the right to ride horses in several national parks and again this was seen as a simple back scratching exercise in return for a block of votes.
What form of hunting is to be proposed has not been made public but I have already found two hunting arrows in a national park near my home in Nowra. Many questions await answers and some of them are as follows.
Will all or part of any given NP be closed to the public for the duration of the hunting exercise?
Will hunters pay to enter these parks, as many are only accessible to the fee paying public?
What feral animals have been identified within the parks planned for a hunt?
What method of hunting will take place, rifles, hand guns, normal bows or cross bows?
Will dogs be used during the hunting process?
Is a limit proposed for the number of hunters on any given day and in any given area?
Will the national parks be surveyed for threatened species prior to hunting?
If so, do the authorities know what these species are?
Over what time frame will any survey be conducted?
Who will undertake the survey?
Who will pay for the survey?
Will a target species be identified for the survey?
All of us who regularly involve ourselves in busk walking will be aware of how much vegetation can be flattened by only a small party of walkers. Imaging a party of shooters and their dogs with no concern for anything underfoot and the damage which could result in a concentrated area and all for the thrill of so-called eradication of feral animals.
I strongly urge all ANOS members to write to Hon. Robyn Parker, NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage in protest against this proposed legislation. Her address is Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 32, 1 Farrer Place, SYDNEY NSW 2000