Sustained protest delays nasty political act
Sustained protests from Australians who are horrified at the cold-blooded policies pushed by the NSW Cabinet seem to have had an effect for the moment. It is believed that public reaction to this bill has put the wind up members in marginal seats. The proposal has the obvious 'pay-off' for a cash-strapped spendthrift government of pushing through another unpopular privatisation - this time of a state lottery.
"A decision was deferred until further talks could be held with the Shooters. The Opposition, the Greens and environmental groups oppose the bill and the Government had been accused of supporting it because it relied on the Shooters Party for critical support [to sell off a state lottery] in the upper house."Source:The Sydney Morning Herald
Shooters Party & NSW Labor - Rees Government
The Shooters Party had introduced a private member's bill to "allow recreational hunters to shoot native animals and birds and to allow for private game reserves to be set up for professional safari hunters."Source:The Sydney Morning Herald
NSW Liberal Nationals declare strong opposition to notion of sporting shooting in National Parks
The NSW Liberal Nationals portray themselves as strongly opposed to the shooting of Australian native species in National Parks, and the establishment of private shooting reserves. SourceThey say they will introduce amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill to ban it, according to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Cusack MLC, and the Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Duncan Gay.
"The NSW Liberal / Nationals' move comes following a backdoor attempt - with the apparent support of the NSW Labor Government - to introduce unprecedented shooting of Australian native animals, including in National Parks, as well as private game reserves,” said Ms Cusack.
“We will oppose this and introduce other amendments aimed at genuinely managing the real environmental and other threats posed by feral animals - not Australian native species.
"The shooting of Australian native species in our National Parks or exotic species in private 'game parks' are offensive concepts. If this legislation is brought on the NSW Liberal / Nationals are armed and ready to move legislative amendments to make sure it doesn't happen.”
Illegal release of animals for hunting purposes & feral pig and deer problem
One of these amendments includes changing the Game Act to increase the penalty by four times as much for anyone caught illegally releasing animals for the purpose of hunting. The fine will now be $22,000 for persons caught illegally releasing animals.
“The feral pig problem in NSW is due to the deliberate release of piglets and juveniles for the purposes of hunting,” said Ms Cusack.
“We are also seeing deer being released in many National Parks - they are spreading weeds and are an incredible threat to agriculture as well as the environment.
“I challenge the NSW Labor Government to support our tougher penalties.”
Mr Gay said NSW National Parks and their neighbours needed a comprehensive and strong approach to managing the threat of feral animals - especially as the State comes out of drought and feral animal numbers go up.
“Strongly regulated professional shooting is part of that - unprecedented and unrelated new rights for people like wealthy overseas hunting tourists should not be," Mr Gay said.
"We need comprehensive and strong management of feral species including professional conservation shooting - we don't need for NSW to inadvertently become the Safari State of the Southern Hemisphere.”
Details of Other legislative amendments to be moved by the NSW Liberal / Nationals
Other legislative amendments to be moved by the NSW Liberal / Nationals will:
* Put strong regulatory limits and controls on the use of professional, limited shooting for the appropriate management of feral animals;
* Give Forestry and DECC officers stronger powers to oversee feral animal shooting - rather than the proposal to make it an offence for them to approach hunters;
* Give the Minister for Environment the regulatory power to classify in which National Parks feral animal shooting should take place - rather than the proposed 'one size fits all' approach that makes all National Parks - be they urban or rural - public hunting lands;
* Continue to allow farmers to appropriate manage feral animals on their properties - rather than requiring the proposal that they be forced to pay for licences;
* Ban trap shooting with live birds
Mr Gay said the NSW Liberal / Nationals would fight strongly for these and other amendments because of the need to protect Australian native animals and manage feral animals.
“That's in the best interests of both the environment and rural communities that border National Parks,” he said.
Ms Cusack urgently called on NSW Labor to do the right thing and support the Coalition’s amendments.