Ben Bullen, Newnes and Wolgan ‘State Forests’ are designated for hunting, in schedule 1 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act, 2002.
Newnes State Forest is the second most visited state forest in NSW. Its listing on Schedule 1 of the Act as a hunting area, along with Ben Bullen State Forest, is a very high risk to public safety.
Game Council by listing popular state forests for hunting has shown itself to be unaccountable to objectors, acting inconsistently with its public promises of avoiding high use areas, and irresponsibly in regards to public safety. All forests in the Blue Mountains are popular areas and should not be locked up for use by hunters.
The guidelines of the Hunter Education Handbook are almost unenforceable. Many unlicenced hunters and hunters have little interest in following these suggestions, when there is only a remote chance of being caught without a licence.
The allegation that hunting can control feral animals is a myth. Hunting disperses feral animals away from core habitat areas making effective pest control by trapping much more difficult.
Hunters also introduce pest species, such as pigs (SMH 3/8/2002). Previously uninfested areas are degraded so that hunters can have some sport (e.g. pigs will dig up the nationally endangered wetlands on Newnes Plateau).