Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

NSW Coalition puts the Government's Green Credentials under the Gun

“Today the Coalition parties made a strong stand for wildlife and national parks by opposing most of the Shooters Party proposed hunting legislation. They have taken the middle ground from the Government on this issue”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

The key question is which way will the NSW Government now jump - into the arms of the Shooters Party or throw out their legislation and seek to win back some of its lost green credentials? The Government must make a choice between appealing to the conservation vote or that of a few thousand hunters, as it can't do both,” he said.

“We welcome the Coalition's stand against the hunting of native wildlife, including in national parks and in private game reserves, which is tactically a very smart move”, Mr Muir said.

“The NSW Government has erroneously assumed that the green vote has nowhere else to go but Labor. The reality is that the all critical middle class green vote is steadily defecting from Labor with every passing month,” he said.

“The Premier's wavering today on the shooters' planned hardening of hunting laws is an indication of the NSW Government being out of touch with this key element of its middle class supporter base”, Mr Muir said.

“The Coalition quickly grasped that hunting of wildlife in national parks is repugnant and has also to their credit acknowledged that illegal release of pest species onto public lands as a serious problem. So the middle ground on this issue has gone to the Coalition, and Labor must now choose to throw the legislation out or be seen as anti -conservation by supporting the Shooters. The other alternative is to thank the Coalition by adopting its initiatives”, he said.

“Supporting the Shooters Party new Game bill would be a high risk activity for Labor , and would only increase the political blood bath in marginal electorates, both in the inner city and on the green outer rim of suburbs so critical to the next state election,” said Mr Muir.

“Political logic requires the Government to not only throw out this Shooters Party bill, but also reverse the undemocratic manner in which public lands is opened up to hunting and wind back the powers of the autocratic Game Council, as suggested by the Coalition today, Mr Muir said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir , (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)