More than 300 people attended a Katoomba rally on Sunday to oppose the NSW Government’s decision to allow hunting in at least 79 national parks.
Organised by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, the rally heard all but 48 of the state’s national parks could be opened to hunters due to the government agreeing to Shooters and Fishers Party demands to allow “amateur shooters” to hunt feral animals.
The crowd heard from park rangers, representatives from WIRES and the Public Service Association who said feral animal control is exacerbated, not helped by, amateur recreational hunters.
Allowing shooters in national parks posed a serious safety risk to visitors and staff because most of the hunting would occur on weekends, speakers claimed.
“The Shooters and Fishers Party in the NSW Upper House have the power following the last election to demand whatever they like from the government and the demands will continue until the government decides to stand up to them,” said Kevin Evans from the National Parks Association of NSW.
“Sadly for the public and for national parks in NSW this has included not only access to most public national parks but also allowing 12 to 17-year-olds to hunt without supervision — another demand from the Shooters Party the NSW Government is planning to put into force in September,” said Lachlan Garland from Blue Mountains Conservation Society.
“Also worrying is the fact that the body in charge of regulating shooting in national parks is run by the shooters themselves.”
Blue Mountains National Park is not one of the national parks currently being considered by the NSW Government for granting access to recreational hunters to target feral animal populations.