MEDIA RELEASE 17/6/2012
The North East Forest Alliance has accused Premier O’Farrell of deliberately misleading the people of NSW into believing that his backflip on amateur shooting in national parks was limited to 10% of parks, rather than the 94% of NSW’s national parks that will soon be available for shooting with the passage of the Shooter’s bill.
The Shooter’s Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2012 was introduced into the NSW Legislative Council last Thursday and is due to be debated this week, though under the deal done with Premier O’Farrell its passage is guaranteed.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said “The Bill allows amateur shooting in all national parks, except for 48 listed parks and reserves around Sydney, and those parts of parks that are declared wildernesses or declared world heritage. It will be up to the Environment Minister to agree to whichever ones the Shooters want. A purely political decision.
“This makes 94% of NSW’s 799 national parks, nature reserves, and state conservation areas potentially available for shooting rather than the 10% claimed by Premier O’Farrell two weeks ago.
“Premier O’Farrell’s claim that shooting in national parks would be limited to supervised feral animal control programmes is also not reflected in the bill. Once approved by the Minister it is open season.
“The bill will also make it illegal to interfere with the hunting of game animals on any public lands. While this is intended to remove people’s right to protest, it can apply to anyone who happens to be in an area where they want to hunt” Mr. Pugh said.
On 13 April 2011 Barry O’Farrell told the NSW public “there will not be a decision to turn our national parks into hunting reserves”.
On 30 May 2012 Barry O’Farrell announced his deal to allow passage of legislation to sell the State’s power generators, telling the NSW public “Amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 will mean the feral animal eradication program will be extended in 79 of the State’s 799 national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas”
“At the time Barry O’Farrell claimed that only 79 conservation reserves would be opened up for amateur shooting it is apparent he knew that amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 would apply to 751 of the State’s 799 national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas. He deliberately mislead the public.
“While Barry O’Farrell may have made fools of us, he has also proven that he can not be trusted. We can only assume that all Government members were in on this and equally eager to keep their constituents ignorant of the fact that the deal means that any of their local parks can be opened up for amateur shooting at the whim of the Government.
“With many of our local national party members also refusing to rule out opening up national parks for logging it may not be long before Premier O’Farrell reneges on yet another one of his pre-election promises” Mr. Pugh said.