O'Farrell turns National Parks into hunting reserves: Backroom political deal to pass electricity privatisation bill

-->

The O'Farrell Government will allow hunting in NSW national parks – including those listed as world heritage sites – following a backroom political deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to gain support for its Bill to privatise the State's electricity assets.

"The O'Farrell Government has bought the votes of the Shooters and Fishers Party with this backroom political deal to open up the State's national parks to hunters," Opposition Leader, John Robertson said today.

"This is an unprecedented opening up of our pristine national parks system to hunters.

"Families camping and bushwalking should not be forced to share our national parks with hunters because of this deal to ram through the O'Farrell Government's legislation to privatise the State's electricity assets.

"The fact the O'Farrell Government has listed 79 national parks, state conservation areas and nature reserves for 'immediate consideration' is very concerning – this deal puts all NSW national parks at risk.

"The Premier promised to protect our national parks from hunters, but now he is turning our protected conservation areas into hunting reserves."

"We have no intention of doing deals with the minor parties, to sell out those plans."

"There will not be a decision to turn our national parks into hunting reserves."

 (Barry O'Farrell, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 April 2011)

Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said national parks with world heritage listings would be opened up to hunters by the O'Farrell Government.

"There will be shooters rampaging through our world class national parks under the O'Farrell Government," Mr Foley said.

"Parts of the Gibraltar Range, Oxley Wild Rivers, Richmond Range, Nightcap, Dorrigo and Barrington Tops National Parks are all included on the world heritage list, but will be opened up to hunters by Barry O'Farrell.

"Our most pristine national parks, recognised around the world, are being sacrificed for the sake of a backroom political deal.

"The Barrington Tops National Park is where Hunter families go to picnic and swim, the Dorrigo National Park attracts huge numbers of tourists to its pristine rainforest and the Kosciusko National Park is enjoyed by adventurers and cross country skiers.

"Nobody will have any confidence in the safety of our native animals, or indeed members of the public, in our national park estate with Environment Minister Robyn Parker in charge - she is the most incompetent Minister in the O'Farrell Government."

The O'Farrell Government is opening the following locations to hunters:

National Parks

Central NSW  Abercrombie River National Park  Turon National Park 
Coolah Tops National Park  Warrumbungle National Park 
Goulburn River National Park 
New England Tablelands  Bald Rock National Park  Nowendoc National Park 
Basket Swamp National Park  Piliga East National Park 
Boonoo National Park  Piliga West National Park 
Gibraltar Range National Park  Oxley Wild Rivers National Park 
South Coast and Highlands  Benambra National Park  Tallaganda National Park 
Brindabella National Park  Woomargama National Park 
Kosciuszko National Park (excluding ski fields)  Morton National Park 
Wadbilliga National Park  South East Forests National Park 
Outback NSW  Goonoo National Park  Paroo-Darling National Park 
Gundabooka National Park  Yanga National Park 
Mallee Cliffs National Park  Murray Valley National Park 
Northern Rivers  Yabbra National Park  Nightcap National Park 
Richmond Range National Park 
Hunter/Mid North Coast  Dorrigo National Park  Watagans National Park 
Myall Lakes National Park  Barrington Tops National Park 

Nature Reserves

Central NSW  Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve  Pilliga Nature Reserve 
New England Tablelands  Gibraltar Nature Reserve 
Outback NSW  Big Bush Nature Reserve  Lake Urana Nature Reserve 
Boginderra Hills Nature Reserve  Langtree Nature Reserve 
Buddigower Nature Reserve  Ledknapper Nature Reserve 
Cocopara Nature Reserve  Loughnan Nature Reserve 
Coolbadggie Nature Reserve  Narrandera Nature Reserve 
Goonawarra Nature Reserve  Nearie Lake Nature Reserve 
Gubbata Nature Reserve  Nocoleche Nature Reserve 
Ingalba Nature Reserve  Nombinnie Nature Reserve 
Jerilderie Nature Reserve  Piliga Nature Reserve 
Kajuligah Nature Reserve  Pucawan Nature Reserve 
Kemendok Nature Reserve  Pulletop Nature Reserve 
Round Hill Nature Reserve  Quanda Nature Reserve 
Tarawi Nature Reserve  Yanga Nature Reserve 
The Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve  Yathong Nature Reserve