Confirmation hunters will be left unsupervised in National Parks

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A leaked internal document from the Office of Environment and Heritage has confirmed hunters will be left unsupervised in large areas of national parks – and workers will be forced to wear high visibility clothing to help prevent shooters mistaking them for targets.

The Supplementary Pest Control in Parks Program – Draft Risk Assessment dated February 2013 states that in 'Zone C' areas of national parks, amateur hunters will not be supervised – even though there is a recognised danger to workers and parks users.

“It is not proposed to require supervision in Zone C hunting operations.” (p23)

“Even in areas of very low visitation NPWS and a range of other users, including volunteers, contractors, utility workers and others, may still be present in parks in situations where they may be unaware of licensed hunters and licensed hunters may be unaware of them.” (p27)

Zone C areas comprise 63 per cent of the total land opened up to amateur hunters by the O'Farrell Government.

National parks workers and volunteers will also be forced to wear high visibility clothing to prevent amateur hunters mistaking them for targets.

“OEH has an existing policy of requiring its workers in potentially dangerous situations to use high visibility yellow clothing. This policy is relevant to this situation.” (p24)

“The O'Farrell Government is going to allow amateur hunters into our national parks unsupervised, but then force rangers to wear high visibility clothing so they aren't mistaken for targets and shot at,” Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said.

“Allowing recreational hunting in our national parks is a dangerous policy no matter which way you look at it.

"Barry O'Farrell's own department has already warned there is a high risk of serious injury or death if the Premier proceeds with his legislation to allow hunting in national parks.

“Campers, bushwalkers and birdwatchers shouldn't be forced out of our public national parks and campgrounds to make way for recreational hunters.

“Allowing hunters to run around unsupervised is a disaster waiting to happen.

"The O'Farrell Government must immediately abandon its plans to allow amateur shooters to hunt in national parks.

“If a tragic incident occurs, nobody in the O'Farrell Government can say they weren't warned about the risks.”