Upper House orders NSW Government to produce all documents relating to eviction of community horses from Yaralla

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Delivered in the Legislative Council, June 20, 2013.

As each month goes by New South Wales witnesses yet another assault on our precious national park estate, courtesy of the Liberal-Nationals Government. This Government has moved to allow amateur hunting in New South Wales national parks. This Government has moved to allow grazing in some New South Wales national parks. This Government has exercised its numbers on the Legislative Council inquiry into the management of public land in New South Wales to contemplate an increased range of activities in New South Wales national parks, a number of which will severely damage the environmental values in our national park estate. Those activities include timber cutting and grazing as well as recreational hunting.

In 2006 the Liberal-Nationals Coalition signed a memorandum of understanding with peak horseriding stakeholders, which seeks to provide more horseriding opportunities in national parks, including in wilderness areas and nature reserves. Since coming to office the Government has moved to honour that commitment by releasing a document entitled, "Strategic directions for horseriding in NSW national parks". The document notes:

There are currently over 110 national parks across New South Wales where people can enjoy horse riding. The NSW Government is committed to increasing the level of access to allow horse riders the opportunity to experience a wider range of national parks.

The Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker, is in charge of determining how recreational hunting will be regulated in New South Wales national parks.

The Government has moved to allow amateur hunting and to extend horseriding in national parks. I advise the House that, under the risk assessment presided over by Minister Robyn Parker, the firing of a gun from the back of a horse will be allowable in New South Wales national parks. I respectfully suggest that discharging a firearm from the back of a horse is unsatisfactory from a safety perspective.

The Hon. Rick Colless: Who told you that, Luke?

The Hon. LUKE FOLEY: For the information of the Deputy Government Whip, I repeat: There is nothing in the Office of Environment and Heritage risk assessment which would prohibit hunting on horseback in a New South Wales national park.

The Government has moved to both extend horseriding and allow amateur hunting in national parks. We know that the performances of the Minister for the Environment have been calamitous, but this truly makes Robyn Parker the Calamity Jane of New South Wales.

The PRESIDENT: Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. The honourable member is now reflecting on a member of the other House and is out of order and he knows it. He should not reflect upon a member in that way without making a notice of motion to censure the Minister.

The Hon. LUKE FOLEY: There is nothing in the Office of Environment and Heritage risk assessment that prohibits the firing of a gun from the back of a horse in a New South Wales national park. Perhaps the Minister aspires to be Annie Oakley, splitting an ace of spades nailed to a tree with a single shot. I call on the Minister for the Environment to move immediately to prohibit the carrying of a gun—never mind the firing of a gun—on the back of a horse in any New South Wales national park.