Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Shooters’ plans for national parks could backfire

“The only way for the NSW Government can avoid a high-profile public shaming is to reject ALL the recommendations of the Public Lands Inquiry report released today”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Sydney will host the World Parks Congress in November 2014 – an important conference held only once in a decade.  As things stand, many foreign delegates to this Congress will be pouring scorn on the NSW Governments for failing to defend national parks from attack by the Shooters and Fishers Party”, said Mr Muir.

“The Public Lands Inquiry, chaired by Shooter Robert Brown MLC, sets its sights on destroying the long-standing political consensus over the management of national parks, wilderness areas and nature reserves.  The proposals logging that have already been revealed are just a more obvious element of their resource exploitation agenda,” Mr Muir said. 

“The very first recommendation of the Shooters’ Inquiry is to investigate application of multiple use on all public lands (read mining, logging and grazing in national parks). A multiple use regime, where resource extraction objectives can be applied to national parks is ‘cloud cuckoo land’ policy,” Mr Muir said.

“The Shooters’ pet theory of multiple use would be a mechanism to turn national parks into grazing lands, logging areas, mines and tourist resorts”, said Mr Muir.

“Re-examining existing national parks for multiple natural resource use aims to smash the national park idea.  Under a multiple use ideology, only those reserves that are useless for commercial gain, such as deserts, would be safe as true national parks,” he said.

“Holding off the Shooters for 18 months by means of another inquiry into public lands won’t work.  Such a ploy is recommended by the inquiry that was released today, but it fools no one and the criticism will continue just the same,” he said.

“Ninety-five per cent of people do not want logging or other forms of development in national parks.  The Shooters cannot win this fight.  The NSW Government should further distance itself from all of these loopy proposals,” Mr Muir said.

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