Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Support for the rangers’ rally against hunting in parks

 

“Environment groups and members of the local community have joined this protest today in support of the rangers and field officers who are taking industrial action to prevent hunting in our national parks,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Ground shooting is completely ineffectual in the face of the breeding rates of feral animals, like pigs and foxes. It is a waste of a rangers' time to organize and manage a safe environment for amateur shooters who’ll bag the occasional pest animal in national parks. Pest populations need to be knocked down by 60% to have any real effect,” he said.

“Premier O’Farrell, your plans for hunting in national parks are not science-based and there are other views to be considered. You’ll have to negotiate with park staff, conservationists and the public. We want our parks better funded, managed and protected,” he said.

“The Premier’s shooting in parks announcement was full of mistakes and probably written for him by the Shooters and Fishers Party. The Premier promised no World Heritage parks or wilderness areas will be used for shooting. Yet the same release contains six wilderness parks# and six World Heritage-listed parks* where shooting is proposed,” said Mr Muir.

“The Premier’s no recreational hunting promise is also directly contradicted by the current Game and Feral Animal Control Act, 2002. This Act allows for the hunting of Californian quail, pheasant, partridge, peafowl and turkey, which aren’t pests, but game birds,” he said.

“Game birds are not present in national parks, Mr Premier. Unless these birds are specifically excluded from the proposed shooting laws, then the recreational hunting will occur. Game birds then will be released by hunters into national parks, just like pigs and deer are released by hunters,” said Mr Muir.

“This shooting proposal is ideologically driven, not science based. The Shooters and Fishers Party won’t stop till it achieves the 'Holy Grail' of unrestricted recreational hunting in all National Parks. This is why, today, we stand side by side with rangers and field officers to stop shooters’ plans to hunt in our national parks, Mr Muir said.

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

Gibraltar Range*#, Kosciuszko#, Oxley Wild Rivers*#, Morton#, Nowendoc#, Barrington Tops*#, Richmond Range*, Dorrigo* and Nightcap* National Parks.