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Shooters Party - fanatical red necks pushing for open season in National Parks

Since May 2009, Robert Brown MP of the Shooters Party has been pushing for the GAME AND FERAL ANIMAL CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL 2009 to be passed into NSW legislation.

The spin of this Bill is so feral animals can be controlled in National Parks. But in reality the proposed changes would mean the following main changes:

* Many of Australia's native fauna across NSW would be condemned as 'game animals' just like in colonial times, when Australian native animals were despised as 'vermin'. Other native animals can be included in the shooters hit list so long as there is consultation with the Minister for National Parks (DECC).
* It would be lawful for sporting shooters to hunt and shoot native fauna in all National Parks, State Forests, Crown Land and 'private game reserves' across NSW. Killing wildlife is to be branded as 'conservation hunting' and basically would be permissible through most natural landscapes outside built up areas.
* The Game Council of NSW, which is a government body dominated by members of shooting and hunting clubs, and it would assume authority for granting shooting licences in National Parks.
* Shooters and hunters in National Parks would be immune from protesters trying to protect native animals and birds - as it would become "an offence to approach persons (within 10 metres) who are lawfully hunting on declared public hunting land, or to interfere with persons lawfully hunting game animals".
* Any environmental protection legislation that impedes shooting and hunting of native animals is to be overriden by the new changes - such as under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
* Hunting of native game animals can be done by non-commercial shooters - i.e weekend sports shooters. Using spot lights is optional and it is ok to leave the dead, dying and injured prey where they fall.
* In the case of native waterfowl, licensed game hunters will be required to pass an official identification test of native waterfowl. The record of shooters killing protected bird species is woeful, yet the proposed legislation won't make any difference.
SOURCE:Bill's second reading in the NSW Legislative Council

Professional safari hunters, recreational hunters, sports shooters, or weekend warriors? This Bill would overturn all environmental legislation protecting our remaining wildlife in NSW. It is repugnant. This proposal is nothing to do with noble gesture of taking on the task of the government's culling feral animals in National Parks.
The Game Council in this self-interested set of demands, simply wants to give its weekend warrior member base open slather access to shoot almost anything and everything in the bush. It would be 24/7 open season on wildlife perpetually across NSW every day of the year. Every weekend would be weekend warrior party time in the ute with the spotties and the beers and the guns - just like in the good old days eh? In doing so, The Game Council and the Shooters Party have shown their true colours. The Game Council's objective is to provide for the effective management of 'introduced species' of game animals. By advocating the hunting and shooting of native animals and birds is outside its 'introduced species' charter.

According to Greens MP Ian Cohen, if feral animals are to be culled then "it should be managed by trained Livestock Health and Protection Authority officers." "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."

Fortunately, NSW Cabinet yesterday backed away from supporting the bill.

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From their site at The Shooters Party

About Us

The Shooters Party is an Australian political party. It is registered for Federal elections, and for state elections in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The party came into existence on May 2, 1992 when the New South Wales Government proposed laws preventing citizens from owning self-loading firearms or firearms for personal protection. It was founded by John Tingle, who was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council in March 1995 as the party representative. Tingle resigned in May 2006, and was succeeded by businessman Robert Brown as the party’s sole representative in the Upper House of parliament.

The party’s policies are not entirely focused around firearms. It asserts that every law-abiding citizen should have the right to own and use a firearm for legitimate purposes, including self-defence. It strongly supports recreational hunting, and laws giving shooters access to land for hunting. It also has policies relating to personal freedom, and reduction of govermental interference in citizens’ lives; as well as the need for five-year reviews of all legislation. The party’s motto is "Reclaim Freedom." It actively supports recreational fishing, four-wheel drivers and other outdoor users.

The Party counts among its achievements, a number of succesful Bills, including those giving rights of self defence to any citizen, anywhere, with immunity from civil or criminal liability; providing extra penalties for attacks on vulnerable people; giving families of homicide victims the right to be heard in court; establishment of the NSW Game Council, and legislation allowing specifically licensed hunters to hunt on public land; government funding of shooting clubs, and establishment of regional shooting complexes; recognition of membership of a hunting club as a "genuine reason" for obtaining a firearms licence; extension of minor’s permits from ages 18 to 12, etc. The Shooters Party also assists firearms organisations.

Before the federal election of 2004, the Shooters Party was deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission for failing to contest a federal election for four years. It was re-registered after this election.

The South Australian 2006 state election saw the Shooters Party run two candidates for the Legislative Council, Robert Low and Michael T Hudson, preferencing the Family First Party as well as the One Nation Party. The Shooters Party received 5 991 votes out of 1 055 347 voters enrolled, which is 0.6% of the vote, with a 0.08 quota. Neither candidate was elected.

That's interesting, Sheila. I can see why they came into existence. However it seems that the need for such a party is passed.

How hypocritical of them to be against government interference and then be in such control of governments in such sneaky ways (virtual blackmail) to get what they want which is then to be enforced on unwilling people!

I am also against the term 'recreational' hunting. How can an act destroying life use the term 'recreate' to describe it? Are they taking an animals life and creating it into another species? It should be called what it is i.e. killing animals for sick fun.

How can establishment of the NSW Game Council, legislation allowing specifically licensed hunters to hunt on public land; government funding of shooting clubs, establishment of regional shooting complexes; recognition of membership of a hunting club as a "genuine reason" for obtaining a firearms licence; extension of minor’s permits from ages 18 to 12, be considered achievements of any value to the rest of society who opposes hunting?

After this recent debacle the Shooters Party should be made defunct and illegal. Clearly they are trouble mongers with undemocratic intent. You might as well have a Child Pornography Party for pervs since it seems the only thing they advocate is hunting and what is the point if the majority of people are against it? They shouldn't be allowed in office.

"It’s embarrassing for Australia that we eat our own wildlife ....I’m here to tell you it’s just not right. Simply do not buy, use or eat kangaroo products”
~ Steve Irwin
Sign the most important petition ever created to help kangar

Do you really believe that eating our own wildlife is "embarassing"?
I'd be proud to put kangaroo on my family's table just as they are proud to do so in every other continent on earth!

"Crikey" , If you're right mate , those terrible indigenous Australians have a lot to answer for.

I think that whatever aborigines did at a population of well under 1 million is not comparable with the impact on native animals and plants of 21.6 million humans exporting to several billion in an extractive economy.

Whilst an omnivorous ideal might be to 'eat indigenous' and spare the earth the trauma of hoofs and fertiliser, we would have to get our population right down and stop exporting in order for this to be sustainable economically, ecologically, or indeed, logically.

I fell into that trap for years, feeling as if eating kangaroos was somehow doing them a good turn by reserving space for their populations by discouraging farming of hoofed immigrants, but I was really living out a fantasy of a post fossil-fuel civilisation in somewhere round the end of the 21st century! What was interesting was that I could not see that I was engaging in symbolic action rather than practical action.

Whereas I think it is highly likely that Australia's population will crash by the end of 21st C to a million or less, one cannot live that scenario before it has happened.

With regards to the 'embarassment' factor, I have a feeling that this factor comes from a view that kangaroos are very poorly treated in this country anyway, and that eating them is an excuse for further poor treatment. To me what happens to the body of any creature - human or other - after it dies is of little importance. I may be missing the point here as well though, so look forward to further comments here.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page

Jeff Borg's personal preference to choose to eat kangaroo meat over beef or lamb for instance is as relevant to this Bill as the price of fish. Argument that descends into irrelevant tangents from the central issue is fallacious.

The issue here Jeff is about The Shooters Party seeking to legalise hunting of native animals in national parks.

Yet repeatedly, the best arguments these cowboy shooters can come up with is such irrelevant distractions. It confirms much about their grasp of this issue and its merits. Do they sink a six pack of tinnies before shooting from the hip? I am still waiting for one of them to actually read the Bill.

Most people are not against hunting! That's why there is a politcal party to represent them. Hunting is a sensible and sustainable way to put food on the table.

There is no way that hunting and killing native animals is sustainable. With the very small amount of meat on each animal, our wildlife would be soon gone, exterminated and extinct! There are over 22 million people in Australia, not just a few nomadic indigenous people who could sustainably hunt on subsistence level. There was probably more gathering than hunting anyway.

"Sustainable" has lost its meaning and is just a throw-away term to green-wash environmental vandalism and animal killings for entertainment.

If hunting is not sustainable, Can you please explain the population growth trends over the last 50 years of North American Species such as the white tailed deer , Mule deer , pronghorn antelope , elk and black bear in a nation of over 200 million people and a high ratio of hunters ? Funnily enough , I believe hunting reserves and public land hunting are common practice in the same states that these animals exist. ?????

If the Game Council's Robert Borsak was a professional marksman able to effectively cull ferals he would be able to cite cull statistics for Australia's worst ferals - rabbits and feral cats - which to a professional shooter present far more a challenge than a bull elephant in Zimbabwe bathing at six yards!

Odds are, few of these Game Council cowboys would be able to shoot a rabbit running between burrows. They are hopeless bloodly cowards!
If they are that bad at shooting, they should do remedial practice at Luna Park for a fluffy toy. Who do these weekend warriors think they are kidding?

ABC TV's Stateline last Friday 21-Aug-09 showed up the Games Council
for the exploitative cowboys it stands for.

Robert Borsak, an aspiring political candidate, accounted of his elephant hunting exploits can be found online at an internet forum as follows:

“There’s a bull (elephant) out there today with our name on him” ( as he found an unsuspecting bull elephant wallowing in a pool of water) “He didn’t know we were even there.”

Borsak then describes how he fired at the animal’s head from short range but his first shot wasn't fatal.

“This was not supposed to happen ... I had not made allowance for his standing knee deep in muddy wallow ... The bullet passed harmlessly through the skull, under the brain... Without the instantaneous second barrel the bull would still be running the hills of Omay today, relatively unscathed, to wallow another day.”

“As he came down there was an unearthly scream as the full weight of the falling bull collapsed his heaving lungs, expelling through the trunk and sending an involuntary shiver through me... At this I place two frontal brain shots into the now almost defunct bull and it was all over.”

Borsak then gives an account of shooting and killing a second bull elephant during the same hunt. “It was awesome, he did not know what had hit him ... I could still see that small hazel eye, looking at me, without recognition, before the bullet put out in lights forever... This is what I had come to Zimbabwe again and again for, the call of the hunt, the rhythm of the wild.”

Tigerquoll , once again you cannot come up with any explanation for the well documented success of hunting as a conservation tool and use yet another post to holler your philosophical difference to hunting and the Game Council.
If I recall correctly, you are quite a stickler for providing reference to evidence of an opinion when someone has the audacity to oppose your sheltered view but you show no restraint when comparing the level of difficulty between hunting rabbits and elephants - a topic which I'm sure you have no practical experience or scientific reference to draw from , and still irrelevant to the sustainabilty of hunting and it's positive effect on biodiversity, animal populations and rural economies.

Perhaps you could have made your last post more constructive by asking a couple of questions like how was the particular bull elephant selected for culling? how many people did it feed and employ?, how much of the revenue raised gets put into the conservation and management of the species? and what are the effects of the alternatives to the use of hunting as a management tool?

Notice I have the maturity to avoid using any cynical, insulting, or derogitary terms to stereotype those against hunting. Let's keep this an informative topical discussion.

Jeff Borg

You don't need much evidence or research or practical experience to know that if "conservation" is the object of shooting, then rabbits would be the more difficult target than elephants! Also, reducing the toll on rabbits would clearly be a conservation benefit, but targeting a diminishing (huge) species in their home habitat? There is nothing "conservation" about it! Also the means does NOT justify the ends! Feeding people and giving employment are short-term gains, but cutting down a bull elephant in it's prime robs this magnificent animal the rest of its long life! Such anthropocentic attitudes have done so much damage to our ecosystem and caused suffering and destruction to animals.

I'm sorry but you're a little off the track Vivienne.

In africa the largest threat to wildlife and biodiversity is habitat destruction from traditional farming practices. Why ? because people need to eat.

So how do you feed people and maintain habitat? - That's where hunting comes into the picture. Farmer realises there's more money in a managed hunting enterprise , knocks down his fences allows habitat to be restored so that the wildlife are encouraged to breed . Wildlife populations increase, surplus is harvested (by rich hunters) and wildlife future is saved. As long as there is always an income from hunting they don't need to return to damaging farming practices.

I apologise for using terms such as "management " and "surplus" as I understand how this can offend the protectionists however I'm at a loss to find suitable euphemisms.

As for a bull in his prime, it is usually the contrary that is allowed to be taken by the hunting industry with animals at the end of their breeding life that are selected.
The above system is working a treat in several African nations despite your dipleasure and even the Kenyan Government (where hunting has been banned for forty odd years) is re-investigating safari hunting in an effort to counteract decreasing antelope populations!

How 'bout that.

You, Vivenne may not need much evidence to form an opinion however , I prefer a much more pragmatic approach when it comes to something as important as our wildlife.

Many Africans already face food shortages and nutritional deficits, turning to bushmeat as a stop-gap measure. Protein alternatives must be developed and promoted now, before African wildlife has been totally depleted and its potential as an emergency food resource and sustainable economic alternative is gone. The problem of Africa is population growth and thus they are eating into wildlife resources. Human population has increased dramatically – 387% in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1950-1992. Anticipated 50-60% increase in food demand in developing countries by 2030. Unless something is done to stop the tide of population growth, all the Earth's resources will consumed and animals will continue to become extinct. Animals need to eat too! Animals should not be expected to justify their existence by producing an income! Not everything's value can be equated into $$$

@Jeff Borg 1-Sep-09
Jeff, you directly address Vivienne in your comment and I take a step back to allow Vivienne to respond.

My take on your 'A lesson in Conservation' comment is as follows:

Habitat destruction in Africa is likely what in Australia we term a key threatening process. Quite likely, 'habitat destruction' is indeed the largest threat to wildlife and biodiversity as you state Chris, but where are your supporting facts? More importantly, where are your facts that this habitat destruction is due to "traditional farming practices" and not more liley due to land acquisition for new crops. I put it to you that if African traditional farming practices have by definition been traditional for long time and were unsustainable then Africa would be Easter Island, but clearly this is not the case. So this suggests you are full of it again.

Yes, people need to eat, but this is 2009 not 1859 and I am sure if Zimbabwe was run like the Rhodesian economists did, it would have supermarkets full and at affordable prices. Mugabe has destroyed his people.

So Jeff your misguided premise "So how do you feed people and maintain habitat? - That's where hunting comes into the picture" is as if you were a relic of Victorian colonial conquest like Dr David Livingston, complete with the pith helmet.

You think you are being pragmatic by advocating farmers knock down fences to allow animals to roam more freely, breed so you can shoot them. Quite the harvest term - this applies to crops not livestock. Ask any sheep or cattle producer if they "harvest" their stock. They will look at you as if you were straight from the city and don't have a clue!

Jeff, what you lack on spades is zoological science on native animals.
Go away and get it and then talk factual and not 18th Century colonial idealism.

How 'bout that? Dr Livingston I presume?
Over to you Vivienne.

Tigerquoll,

It must be frustrating to not be able to accept what is going on around you. Particularly if you don't agree with it and it is working!

I'm not "eighteenth century" and my opinions aren't a plagiarism of a livingston journal. My opinions are very 'here and now' - unlike your own pie in the sky theories about how Africa should be.

People like yourself seem content to derive satisfaction from the warm and fuzzy 'what we really need is' approach to problems, while the world crumbles around you.

I am relieved though that the previous posts have recognised habitat destruction and population growth as Key threatening processes (thanks for introducing me to the terminology- we always called 'em KTP's) and also for pointing out my misuse of the term 'traditional farming' when I really was referring to westernised farming methods -surely that clarifies my point.

I have spent time in two African nations where hunting exists as culture and as an industry. I have seen the people employed by sustainable hunting and the environmental benefits of this type of land use. I can understand that you are wary of something new in your own backyard but are you suggesting that it is not working overseas?? I dare you.

Hunting is not just a sound theoretical concept it has been the most consistently successful conservation tool to date and crucial to the preservation of biodiversity.
I say we at least keep it until Zimbabwe is run by Rhodesia, Africans stop breeding and the you beaut protein pill gets invented at a price that an African can trade one of his children for.

Jeff may still have not read the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2009, which I remind him is the issue at hand. I offer the following extract summary quote by way of factual evidence to remind him:

"Explanatory note:
This explanatory note relates to this Bill as introduced into Parliament.
OVERVIEW OF THE GAMERS BILL [Click on PDF 'Text of Bill as First Print']

The object of this Bill is to amend the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002
(the Act) as follows:

(a) to enable the Minister responsible for national park estate land to make that
land available for the hunting of game animals by licensed game hunters,

(b) to expand the list of game animals that may be hunted in accordance with the
Act and, in the case of any native game animals that are listed, to impose
special requirements in relation to the hunting of those animals by licensed
game hunters,

(c) to provide for the operation of private game reserves under the authority of a
licence granted by the Game Council,

(d) to make it an offence to approach persons who are lawfully hunting on
declared public hunting land or to interfere with persons lawfully hunting
game animals,

(e) to make a number of other amendments of an administrative, minor or
consequential nature.

Jeff, this is the Bill being presented before NSW Parliament. It is not about nostalgic big game hunting of wildlife in Africa. In fact if Jeff was mindful of the dire poverty in Zimbabwe, he would be aware that

..."Zimbabwe faces another huge food deficit in 2009 due to continued falls in farm production, mounting political uncertainty and economic instability, a report by a farmers’ union said on Wednesday. The southern African country is battling hyperinflation and has endured food shortages since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe’s government began seizing farms from whites to resettle landless blacks.

"The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), which represents most of the few remaining white commercial farmers, said agricultural output would continue to fall sharply until the country’s political crisis was resolved. The last official inflation rate, for July last year, stood at 231 million per cent."

"Donor agencies say more than five million Zimbabweans, almost half the population, currently rely on food handouts and expect the number to rise following another poor agricultural season. The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) says its $140 million emergency food aid appeal for Zimbabwe has come up $65 million short."

"Critics say Mugabe’s land policies have ruined Zimbabwe’s once prosperous economy, but the veteran ruler says the seizures were meant to reverse colonial land imbalances."SOURCE: Reuters, January 21, 2009

So does Borsak and his party feel a sense of gratification knowing their hunting trip contributed revenue to perpetuate Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe?

Jeff, your oxymorons may be justified to a recreational hunter because clearly there is obviously a vested interest. Spin like hunting being a "sound theoretical concept", "successful conservation tool" and "crucial to the preservation of biodiversity" has as much logic and meaning as wouId apply to legalising poacher possies. If some dictator like Mugabe made it legal to shoot poachers, he could equally justofy it as a "sound theoretical concept", "successful conservation tool"and "crucial to the preservation of biodiversity."

Who am I to stop discount group flights from Perth to Johannesburg for keen poacher hunters?

But getting back to The Bill, no one has been able to offer any justification for clauses (a) and (b) in the Bill identified above. This is despite the spin being about controlling ferals. I suppose Jeff and his weekend warriors would have us believe elephants are feral and in plague proportions in Africa too?

Name one piece of evdence in NSW where the taxpayer rorting Game Council has successfully controlled a population of feral animals. Go on, name one and cite the evidence source so I know you aren't relying on some big game theory.

Tigerquoll,

You seem adamant that you know what you are talking about but let me enlighten you on some points.

I spend at least two weekends a month hunting, culling roos for farmers in exchange for the right to take rabbits, deer or goats that may be there for the table.The farmers have tags issued by NPWS after an inspection of the propertys population. One property has 400 tags issued each year on average which after that winters cull would see the roos bounce back by the start of winter the following year.

This is first hand observation, not some obscure study or emotionally based hot air.
The disgusting aspect of the culls is that all roos shot under the current legislation cannot be used for any purpose and must be left to rot on the ground where they were killed and tagged. Shooters party legislation is trying to address this issue and allow hunters to use the resource instead of it going to waste.

Hunters like myself choose to feed ourselves this way and I find it offensive that we are are labelled as sick and perverse for choosing to hunt.

As far as the game council is concerned I have been involved in many of their organized culls and see first hand the reduction of feral animals. Forests that were open to hunting under Gamecouncil control were full of deer (which is my preferred species to take) but are now very hard to find and must be worked very hard for to now obtain. Foxes cats and rabbits also now are less prevalent than when the forests were first opened.

These are facts from someone who is out there ALL the time.

If the under-resourced NPWS wanted to use Gamecouncil accredited hunters to do culls at no expense to the taxpayer why object to it? The problem is misinformation directed by the anti-hunting fraternity who whip up nonsense about hunters filling the hills with bullets and nobody being safe.

I attended one such rally against hunting in NP and was amazed at the lies being told to the audience

If antis respect truth then they should be ashamed of what is being dished out as the truth to them by rally organizers.

Hunting in NP works in Victoria to control Sambar deer, why not apply it here. We are not all Ivan Milats as is so often the association with anyone that holds a firearm.

Please be realistic.

To Sambar hunter:

In reply to your empty arguments:

1. Farmer/licenced agreements to cull ferals/vermin deserves accreditation and the spoils to both. Killing native wildlife (kangaroos) simply is poaching and an unethical distinction from ferals.

2. NPWS is poorly managed, directed and resourced. It has become a political football and a wolf in sheep's clothing. Now the latest NSW Minister for Energy is charged to direct the NPWS. Macquarie Street Labor is corrupt so whatever NPWS does is questionable.

2. The core issue is the Daniel Boon Bill pushing to allow ree for all shooting of wildlife in National Parks. Funny how no counter arguments have emerged - as if no shooters have read the Daniel Boon Bill. I assume they have been hoodwinked by the Game Council not to read this Mein Kampf.

3. Stuff the emotional slant on this issue. The issue is about free for all shhoting rights for anything that moves in National Parks. I would not give that to anyone. Perhaps in a dictatorship like Zimbabwe, Mugabe would.

4. Australians can feed themselves practically at the local Coles and Wollies. The spin of some nostalgic Daniel Boon right or need to shoot wildlife to survive
belongs to Playstation or indeed 1970s TV.

5. If foxes and rabbits are "less prevalent" let's get that confirmed in a public prouncemet by the responsible authority DECC or whatever its latest name and minister.

6. It is not the 'anti-hunting fraternity' whipping up nonsense. It is the anti-wildlife poachers unable to present a case to justify their fettish. Why has no shooter yet looked at the Gamers Bill and argued its case? Has any shooter read it?

Ivan Milat was a licenced shooter before he was caught for mass murder. He was a member of a NSW Southern Highlands shooters club. The rules that allowed him to become a member and to own and use several long arms has not changed. So how can the community trust shooters under such lax rules and when shooters want freedom to shoot willdife in National Parks?

It seems all responses from shooters miss the mark and need to adjust their rear sights for windage and elevation. The target thus far remains clean.

Clearly shooters are unintelligent by unquestioningly following fanatics in the Games Council. Any nong could shoot an old stationary elephant from 6 yards.
Show me Borsak's shooting results for rabbits or foxes?

Sambar hunter should be shooting ferals, including that Central Australian camel mob of a few weeks back.

Poachers need to justify the morality of killing Australian native wildlife.
Just because Kangaroo numbers are not threatened is not a moral justification to kill them. Immigration is out of control, so are you going to set up a live range at Sydney Airport to keep the numbers under control?

Black and White Rhinos were once prolific and so were hunted. Now they're extinct.

The argument is not emotional. It is about questioning the morality of killing native wildlife. Why don't shooters rip into dingos, wild dogs, wombats, koalas and dolphins while they're at it? The bias against kangaroos is because:

(a) there are many of them out there in places
(b) pet food companies pay money for kangaroo meat
(c) roo shooters' daddies did it so it must be ok
(d) shooting roos has become an outback accepted culture.

Well, shooting Tasmanian Tigers was accepted practice in Tasmania in the 19th Century. They were hunted down like vermin. Makes me think every time I sink a Cascade. Shooting kangaroos has persisted as accepted culture in some diehard red neck communities.

So Sambar Hunter witnesses foxes, cats and rabbits are less prevalent. Good, keep going until feral pests are eliminated, but do it humanely and under independent zoolgical supervision, not the supervision of the local ammo dealer. If you run out of ferals leave the natives alone!

I object to taxpayer funds going to an organisation like the NSW Game Council when its head Borsak shoots elephants. Borsak has no morals shooting elephants and no ethics in supporting Mugabes's regime in Zimbabwe that gave his poaching party an exemption. If I had the money and knew he was going over there I would have paid top money for a local posse to take his poaching party out, nice and quiet.

The Shooters Party Game Bill before the NSW Parliament proposes to kill native animals in National Parks. What part of that fact do you not comprehend? What part of that is indeed a lie? Quote me a part of the Bill?
No one has yet. May be you lot can't read, let alone distinguish kangaroo types or male and female..roos that is!

If the Shooters Party were realistic, they would restrict their focus to ferals outside national parks and limit the shooting only to DECCW certified pest control marksman.

But this red neck Bill is really a free for all for cowboy shooters of any age down to age 12, with a mindset to shoot anything that moves in the bush any day or night, inside or outside National Parks. Hey, throw in backbackers and you may as well ask Ivan Milat to be your patron!

The book 'Sins of the Brother: The Definitive Story of Ivan Milat and the Backpacker Murders' is an eye opener into a case of a hard rural lifestyle controlled by hardline paternal corporal punishment, when guns are part of life and temper tolerated.

"Guns are power" as confirmed by Ivan Milat's brother Boris.
Untempered power leads to consequences only limited to the discretion of the person in control.

Gun laws in Australia fuel criminal opportunity, yet gun laws don't test for criminality.

A cocktail of a gun acceptance culture, killing of animals from an early age, an insular rural upbringing, a penchant for control, an uncontrolled aggression, and opportunity are how Ivan Milats and Martin Bryants are made.
Milat's upbringing featured a tolerance of incest, which fueled sexual depravity.

In hillbilly culture a 'virgin' is a girl who can run faster than her brothers.

Rural mass murder occur in Australia again while gun laws are so lax.
It starts with children being given airguns. Airguns inculcate shooting living things as acceptable.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

According to WWF website: Humans are the greatest threat to many animals in Africa – not least of all birds and fish. As human populations expand, animals lose their habitat to settlements and agriculture. Human wars destroy animals and the lands they live in. Humans take birds and fish for food and for sport.

The only way to conserve Africa’s wildlife – big or small – is to help humans find economic and social alternatives to habitat and wildlife destruction. AWF is working with local communities in the African Heartlands to study the impacts of human activities on key species and find ways to conserve these wildlife and their habitats.

Extensive habitat conversion and unauthorised hunting, exacerbated by a proliferation of high-powered automatic weaponry in recent years, has hastened the long-term decline and disappearance of wildlife from many areas.

As Tigerquoll states, loss of habitat is one of the biggest killers of wildlife. While illegal hunting (known in Africa as “poaching”) still runs rampant despite government crackdowns, the spread of logging and agriculture contributes even more to the decline of many species of large mammals. The number of people in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda has doubled over the past 20 years, and is set to double again in the next 30-40 years.

The "bushmeat" alternative to agriculture is NOT sustainable and it is not humane to rob diminishing species members of their mob or family groups to support swelling human populations. For this reason I refuse to support World Vision any more. Until they learn the need to limit their growth, and it may seem cruel, but Nature must take its grim toll.

Vivienne,

There is not one part of that extract I do not agree with.

Poaching is a HUGE problem in Africa and a very real threat to wildlife populations .It is also an issue that no African gave a damn about until there was a managed hunting Industry to offset it. True story.
You either don't get it or you've surprisingly come over to my side of the Argument.

You have ignorantly combined opposing issues thinking that the two are even linked. At least we seem to agree on something. Just remember:

Conservation hunting Good. Poaching Bad

I have never given my support to any poaching, legal or not! Please read my posts again very carefully! End of topic!

Oh, I nearly forgot.

The only organisation in Australia that formally addresses and actively targets the problem of poaching is the NSW Game Council.

Africa and India had huge high-energy-high-mass biodiverse animal and flora populations for many centuries. Poaching did not seem to be a problem until the new land-laws brought in, notably, by the British acting in a colonial capacity - formally remaking land-use planning laws which made it impossible for traditional clan and tribal use of lands to persist, and then by transnational corporations seeking to make a profit from the landscape at the expense of the locals. (I admit that my familiarity with any continuing impact of Roman-Dutch law in South Africa and Sri-Lenka, among some other countries is currently poor. I would welcome correspondence on this matter.)

It strikes me as extremely unfair to Africans of indigenous origin to behave as if their values or practices were at the root of this comparatively recent, but devastating problem. To say that 'no African gave a damn' overlooks the fact that, since there was no problem of biodiversity depletion on such a scale before 1750, there was not really a need for a 'managed hunting industry' in the various small-scale and many long-duration cultures there.

My investigation of the problem sees it lying in the introduced land 'management' systems and they way these treat people, domestic animals and wildlife. These affect everything, including the rate of population growth and the way that people earn incomes. (They are having the same effect in Australia, but started here later in a much more fragile ecology.) The hunting solution is a cowardly solution in a system that only values money and chews up people and elephants in order to make it. It is a sick system which, whilst valuing elephants and people for the money they can earn, considers them utterly expendable if they cannot earn money. That the 'hunting solution' probably came from the people whose system created the problem in the first place is neither surprising or edifying. It will be useless in the long-term as the machine of 'progress' (a kind of biodiversity mulching and polluting mechanism for the production of money for a few) eventually chews up everything, even itself. I think we are seeing this happening now, not least in Australia.

It is the people at the top of the pyramid who profit from these systems who should bear the responsibility and blame for their destructive and unfair impacts. The profiteers include, par excellence, the mass media and the pulpit propaganda which promotes, excuses, and shores up these systems. If those people are Africans or Indians, then they are a part of the problem.

Whoever those people are - the CEOs, the governments, the rich investors, the middle class investors - and even the UN, which does absolutely nothing about land-rights for animals and relocalisation of government and production in a non-profit system for people which would help to stem human population growth - are at fault. (Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine goes a long way to identifying some of the people prominent in corrupting local and regional democracy.)

I have absolutely no faith in the 'demographic transition' (an apology for continued growth) and would point to Australia and the US for why we should have no such faith. Their populations are out of control. I would look to the South American countries and Hugo Chavez's philosophy and to Napoleonic codes of inheritance to assist a real transition. We need it in Australia as well.

By the way, one of my close relatives used to make his own hand spears and used them, mostly underwater. He was once featured in a magazine as the first person to spear a crocodile under water, using a hand-spear. He also used to eat indigenous birds including parrots as well as other animals when he was out in the field. I was raised between the ideals of preserving nature and seeing humans as hunters. It has been difficult to marry the two. However I eventually realised that human populations on our scale are obscene and they also make hunting an obscene pass-time. It is only barely more obscene than shopping for cheap manufactures in malls, in that it is a more direct and overt way of killing, than the destruction of distant habitat for industrial production and distribution. To hunt elephants is also, if you go by mass, rarity and symbolism, quite a scale more obscene than hunting rabbits. In fact my mind sort of boggles on the rabbit problem. I gather it was the Vikings who first brought the rabbit to England, and then the English who brought the rabbit to Australia. What a chain of problems, moral and zoological.

It is obvious that most humans have it in them to hunt and kill and that much of our folklore and television entertainment is all about this. In reality it is mostly channeled into symbolic acts. The real killing of animals is confined and sectioned off to a few people, mostly from the lower classes who have little choice of occupation, and for the profit of some very diverse corporations. What is out of sight is effectively out of mind for most people, and that goes for obviously catastrophic situations in the so-called 'third world'. The official ideology succeeds in convincing most people that the indigenous populations of 'third world' countries are somehow innately incompetent and for this reason require intervention from groups made up of really un-self-critical people from the peoples of the 'first world' to teach them how to suck eggs, so to speak. (The AID groups, the Development groups.) The sucking of eggs includes teaching them how to 'manage' hunting, how to get an income by playing the first-world zero-sum game of providing cheap labour by destroying more of their social systems. There is no recognition of the fact that the first world gets much of its income by destroying the social organisation and land-rights of the third world and has no intention whatsoever of allowing these people ever to take charge of themselves effectively. The AID and Development groups are the first to fall for these stories. What few people realise is that the social organisation and land-rights of the 'first world' are now fair game for the corporates as well.

A zero sum game. We need relocalisation. And we have to preserve much more biodiversity or we will simply perish in our own waste.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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I would like to correct some errors in your article.

* The bill would not give anyone the right to shoot native animals. Rules for killing native animals are not being changed. Land owners will still have to get the permits to kill problem problem native animals from the National Parks and Wildlife service as now. Declaring them game animals only allows game council hunters to do the shooting and remove dead animals instead of leaving them where they fell as now, to feed feral animals such as foxes and pigs.

*The Game Council is a government body not private.

* There is no shooting of native animals in national Parks proposed in the bill. The bill will allow the government to declare some areas in some parks available to trained and qualified hunters to kill feral animals.
*There is no spotlighting or night shooting allowed in any of areas of public land, by Game Council hunters.

One other question I have, is why is the picture of Ivan Malat in the article. The ironic thing about that is that if while he was committing his crimes in the Belangalo State Forest, it was off limits to hunters and anyone with firearms. Now it is one of the forests open to Game Council Hunters. I can see a different outcome for him and his victims if the forest was open to hunters then. If he had come across someone who was hunting while he was committing his crimes he would have been likely stopped earlier, saving many lives.

Chris,

In response to your reply above:

Your first point of three parts:
1.1 You claim: "The bill would not give anyone the right to shoot native animals"
1.2 You claim: "Rules for killing native animals are not being changed"
1.3 You claim: "Declaring them game animals only allows game council hunters to do the shooting and remove dead animals instead of leaving them where they fell as now."

I direct you to the following site where the complete Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2009 Bill is available: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/bill/gafacab2009320/
Schedule 3 at page 17 lists the native animals deemed to be 'game animals'. Read this and explain how this does not negate your points 1.1 and 1.2. Then explain where in the Bill it requires shooters/hunters to 'remove dead animals instead of leaving them where they fell as now'?

2.1 You claim: "The Game Council is a government body not private."
Yes, Chris you are correct on this one. The Game Council NSW "is a statutory authority of the NSW Parliament, established under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 and its associated Regulation of 2004." (SOURCE: http://www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au/portal.asp?p=AboutGC2). I have made the correction in the article, thank you. I had assumed the small house in Orange, NSW which houses The Game Council, was a private residence. It doesn't appear very accessible to the public.

However, I point out that the Game Council comprises membership dominated by representatives of private hunting interest groups. Of the following current council members the following 16 members, only 4 are government public servants accountable to the government of the day - Eric Davis, representing Minister for Primary Industries, John Willey, Rural Lands Protection Board, Adrian Harte, Director - Department of Lands and Nick Roberts, Forests NSW.

1. CHAIRMAN: Cr Robert Borsak, Australian Hunters International.

Councillors:
2. Stephen Larsson, Australian Deer Association.
3. Eric Davis, representing Minister for Primary Industries.
4. John Willey, Rural Lands Protection Board.
5. Rod Drew, Field & Game Australia.
6. Dr Tony English, Australian Veterinary Association, NSW Division.
7. Dr Murray Williams, wildlife management scientist.
8. George Kourt, Hunters & Fishermans Association of NSW (Artemis).
9. Douglas Shupe, Federation of Hunting Clubs Inc.
10. John Mumford, GameCon NSW.
11. John Pond, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW).
12. Daryl Venables, Australian Bowhunters Association.
13. Adrian Harte, Director - Department of Lands.
14. Nick Roberts, Forests NSW.
15. Dr Rob Mulley, wildlife management scientist.
16. William Murray, NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

3.1 You claim: "There is no shooting of native animals in national Parks proposed in the bill." Yet, cleary, the stated purpose of this Bill is for "an An Act to amend the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 to make further provision with respect to the management and regulation of the hunting of game; and for other purposes." Does it not? The Bill details that 'game animals' include listed native animals per Schedule 3, which I draw your attention to this list on this website. They include many native birds, quails and kangaroos, etc.

3.2 You claim: "The bill will allow the government to declare some areas in some parks available to trained and qualified hunters to kill feral animals."
Killing feral animals by shooting may be an effective method of controlling feral animals. Buy where is the DECC science to support this? Your claim of "trained and qualified" hunters needs clarification. Where is this provided for in the Bill?

3.3 You claim: "There is no spotlighting or night shooting allowed in any of areas of public land, by Game Council hunters."
Where is this provided for in the Bill?

4.1 You claim: "Why is the picture of Ivan Malat in the article?"
Well, Milat was a licensed competition shooter. In police interviews he referred to a shooting range in the Belangalo State Forest he knew of and perhaps used.
(SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2004/s1239470.htm)
Milat was probably a member of a local shooting club, perhaps the Bowral Pistol Club situated in the Belangalo State Forest or with the Southern Highlands Rifle Club? As such, Milat would have been eligible to have been one of the licensed shooters/hunters under this Bill before being convicted of his crimes. This example of a licensed competition shooter does not engender public confidence in the shooting and hunting fraternity to be trusted to self-regulate itself and attract law abiding citizens and carte blache access to National Parks for shooting!

Message: Exclude all native animals as 'game' and prohibit the use of dogs in all hunting and shooting and you will have me starting to listen to proposals by The Shooters Party to control feral animals. But as for controlling feral animals in National Parks in NSW, this is an ecological management matter for DECC to be held accountable for.

The native animals listed as game animals have been done so as they are, I believe animals which are commonly shot on NPWS native animal control permits. At the moment only the owner of the land or employees are allowed to shoot animals on the permit and all animals shot are not allowed to be moved. If they are listed as game animals Game Council hunters will be allowed to do the shooting and they will be allowed to remove animals but this is not compulsory. As ducks and Kangaroos have a lot of good meat on them hunters do not want them wasted. Just calling them game animals does not change their protection status. They are still protected animals and require NPWS permits as now to kill.

The board is made of mostly people from hunting organisations as it is their members who take the Game Council test to get their restricted licence and then have the right to book and hunt in open forests.

National parks will only be declared public land if the bill passes. The government still has the right to open areas for hunting or not. They also decide on species of animals which can be hunted, as they do now in state forests.

Trained and qualified hunters are those with a restricted licence from the Game Council. This is required to hunt in any of the state forests now open and it would be the same system in any open NP.

When a forest is booked to hunt a permit is printed out which must be carried at all times. It states conditions such as no hunting from sunset to sunrise and also has a map showing the area allowed and any exclusion area, which there are usually a few.

Shooting is a way of reducing pest numbers. No method is available which will eliminate these animals. Poison campaigns can reduce animals quickly, but can not be sustained and there is no definite result, as dead animals are rarely found, and non target animals are killed too. Shooting has been proven to work all over the world. DOC in NZ has set densities which deer need to be kept bellow and this is maintained with hunters. South Australia has been very successful in controlling goats in the Flinders ranges using hunters.

I don't know much about the dog side but I believe pig dogs are allowed to bail up pigs and are a very efficient method of removing pigs. Other dogs are scent trailers or pointers for deer.

Robert Brown and Roy Smith are the Shooters Party members here is what Robert has said about the bill.

"My Bill does not allow hunting of native animals in National Parks.
That would be ( as it is now under the NPAct 1974) the Minister for DECC's call ....and her call alone. My Bill simply removes the impediment to her in the existing G&FAC Act of obtaining the benefit of volunteer conservation hunters hunting Ferals on National Parks Estate."

There was an accurate article in the Australian newspaper yesterday. Here is part of the article.

"The bill that would allow regulated hunting in national parks to eliminate feral animals or cull animals such as deer.

Unlike in Victoria and South Australia, hunting on public land in NSW is limited to state forests."

@Craig's comment 27-Jun-09:

Craig needs to get his facts right and not be mislead by The NSW Shooters Party spin to entice member support. Read the facts and then make your own assessment.

The following is the second paragraph of Brown's SECOND READING on 3rd June 2009 of the 'Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2009'.

Chris, if you don't believe me, go to the source:
'Bill Second Reading by The Hon. ROBERT BROWN''

"This bill addresses the recommendations for reform found in the review. The principal changes are as follows: The bill will allow the Minister responsible for national park estate land to declare that land—under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act—for the purposes of hunting game and pest species, in a similar manner as with other Crown lands currently able to be declared. The bill also extends the list of game animals that may be hunted in accordance with the Act. In the case of any native game animals that are listed in schedule 3, the bill imposes special requirements on the hunting of those animals by licensed game hunters. The bill also provides for the operation of private game reserves under the authority of a licence granted by the Game Council."

Schedule 3 lists a stack of native wildlife.
Brown must be on the weed to think he can pull this Milat Bill on Australian natives.

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