Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Community Demands answers from Government on Hunting Bill

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Humane Society International
Invasive Species Council - Australia
National Parks Association of NSW
Nature Conservation Council of NSW
Sutherland Shire Environment Centre
Total Environment Centre
The NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service

The Parks and Native Animals Coalition is calling on NSW Minister for the Environment, John Robertson, to publicly confirm his recent statements in Parliament opposing the Shooters Party proposal to open up National Parks to recreational hunting.

At the Budget Estimates hearing on 17 September, 2009 Minister Robertson stated that “the Government has made it completely clear that we are opposed to hunting in national parks” and that “the Government does not support [Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment] bill”. The Minister also denied all knowledge of a list of national parks proposed for recreational hunting.

However recent media reports suggest the Government is making a deal with the Shooters Party that would allow hunting in 13 national parks if the Shooters drop demands for permitting private game reserves in NSW.

The Parks and Native Animals Coalition, representing about 50,000 members and thousands more supporters, has written to Minister Robertson asking him to clear up the confusion with public confirmation that the Government will not support the entire Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment bill.

The letter reminds the Minister of the NSW Government ’s clear pre-election promise that “Labor will not allow recreational hunting in national parks.”

“We want the NSW Government to stand by its word and assure the people of NSW that they will not be supporting any part of the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill 2009,” said Bev Smiles, Acting Executive Officer of National Parks Association of NSW.

”The community is outraged by the prospect of hunters and shooters being allowed to pursue blood sport in our important protected natural areas,” said Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

‘“The community has joined with environment and animal welfare groups in asking both the NSW Government and Opposition to show strong leadership and reject any proposal for hunting in our national parks or the creation of private game reserves,” said Cate Faehrmann, Executive Director of Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Bev Smiles 0428 817 282, Keith Muir 0412 791 404, Cate Faehrmann, 0412 207 043