O’Farrell to allow amateur hunting in national parks from October – Premier now in a ludicrous position

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The O’Farrell Government has today confirmed it will roll out its amateur hunting in national parks program from October – despite abolishing the Game Council which was supposed to oversee the dangerous policy.

The Labor Opposition has always objected to amateur hunting in our national parks estate because of the special value of our protected areas, which exist to protect native plants and animals.

Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said it was unbelievable amateur hunting in national parks could begin in three months when the body that was supposed to be overseeing it was being abolished.

“Given the leading role the Game Council had in the establishment of this policy with the O’Farrell Government, there is no way amateur hunting in national parks can be rolled out safely or responsibly in three months,” Mr Foley said.

The Game Council has been driving the amateur hunting policy, with the Government’s own internal briefing notes detailing:
• A Game Council booking system for amateur hunters in national parks;
• A Memorandum of Understanding between the Game Council and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS);
• A Game Council Research Committee to establish the evaluation framework;
• Joint compliance efforts on illegal hunting between the Game Council and NPWS; and
• The zoning system for amateur hunting in national parks being negotiated with the Game Council.

“Mr O’Farrell has, through a series of contortions, now found himself in a ludicrous position,” Mr Foley said.

“Amateur hunting won’t occur in state forests despite these forests long being used for multiple purposes, including timber cutting and all sorts of recreational activities.

“However recreational hunting will occur in our pristine national parks estate, which exists solely for the purpose of nature conservation.

“This makes absolutely no sense at all.”