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NPAACT Home > News Items > NSW NPA Stops Hunting in National Parks

NSW NPA Stops Hunting in National Parks

28-June-2009

Please see below a letter from Andrew Cox.

Dear Supporter,
 
We are ecstatic! We stopped the Game Bill from passing through Parliament! Well done everybody.
 
I am writing to you as one of the 1,020 people who used our website since Saturday to send an urgent message to the NSW Labor Government, the Opposition and Fred Nile against the proposal to expand shooting to national parks, native animals and to set up private game reserves. Many of our supporters also rang, wrote or sent letters to Ministers and MPs. Our efforts really did make a difference. The Opposition were impressed to have received over 1,100 emails on this issue, and only 3 supported the Bill!
 
As you may have heard in the press, the NSW Government publicly came out against the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill. Environment Minister and Deputy Premier, Carmel Tebbutt, said in the SMH: "The Government has decided it won't be supporting the Shooters bill for hunting in national parks. We don't support hunting in national parks and we don't support hunting of native animals." 
 
I am heartened by the incredible level of support shown in such a short time. In our recent history we have not had such a rapid and strong response to an issue facing the natural environment. This gives me great confidence that when our national parks and our native wildlife is threatened, there are a large number of people willing to defend them.
 
But that is not all. Because the Government withdrew its support for the Shooters Party Bill, the Shooters Party withdrew support for other key pieces of legislation the Government was trying to get passed by the Upper House (it needs the votes of the two Shooters Party members and one other, usually Fred Nile, to pass legislation that the Greens or the Opposition do not support).
 
This has created a crisis within the Government and the finely balanced NSW Parliament. Last night the Upper House was suddenly suspended one day ahead of schedule before its two month break. There was no chance to vote down the Game Bill. As we learnt in the Sydney Morning Herald article today, it means that there is still incredible pressure on the NSW Government to support the Game Bill in some form. It may still mean that recreational hunting will be extended into national parks, at least in order to shoot feral animal. We know that the Game Council is a flawed model of feral animal control. Academics and land managers are telling us that. We still want to keep recreational hunters with their rifles, hunting dogs and bows and arrows, who currently have access to 2M ha of state forests, out of our national parks. We want the Game Council reigned in, not expanded.
 
The Government is continuing to negotiate with the Shooters Party, and may concede key points. We may only find out the result in September after the deal is done Parliament next sits.
 
We must oppose the Game Bill in its entirety. We must stop trading away our national parks and our natural environment for political deals.
 
So we need you to continue to keep the pressure up. We need to broaden our campaign so that there are letters to the editors and that all politicians know how detestable we find the proposition.
 
I will be updating our hunting in national parks website next week as we move to the next phase of this campaign. We are also meeting with other conservation and animal welfare groups to prepare the next steps. For those that used our website to send an email to the politicians, if you said you want to keep in touch, I'll let you know when we have some new information.
 
Thanks again for your valuable support.
 
Remember if you like the work of NPA and wish to join NPA, get in touch with the NPA office know and we'll send you a member inquiry pack. You can also join or donate online.
 
Andrew Cox,
Executive Officer
National Parks Association of NSW
PO Box 337, Newtown NSW 2042;
Tel: 02 9299 0000; Fax: 02 9290 2525
Email: execofficer@npansw.org.au
Website: www.npansw.org.au
 
52 years of protecting nature through community action

 

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