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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hunting in National Parks - will you be safe in your local Park?

Dear Mr O’Farrell
I am disgusted by your behaviour in selling-out the National Parks of NSW to advantage your own political position.
Barry O'Farrell - laughing.

Mr O'Farrell, I would remind you that National Parks are for conservation, the very antithesis of hunting.

I spend many days per year in Morton National Park – a wonderful resource, full of endangered species, which I strive to record, as a  local Naturalist.
I regret that you have thrown out your personal credibility (a scarce resource amongst politicians these days) in order to support a policy for which you do not have a Mandate anyway (privatisation of Electricity Supply).
Mostly I object to the loss of a sense of safety within a National Park.
How will I know if shooters are present, across a valley from where I might be walking, in the Morton National Park, for example?
Should I wear body armour? 

Bullet Proof Vests
  • Before the Shooters Party people tell you that my reaction is hysterical – I know that many shots miss their targets, or ricochet.
  • Even the Australian Military close their shooting ranges to protect the public from accidental shooting.
  • Have you heard of "collateral damage". I do not want to be a "statistic", thank you very much.
 More generally, this is a betrayal – that is what upsets me most.
Kindly reply to this email.

Denis Wilson
Robertson NSW 2577

Questions which remain un-answered (in my mind). 
If there is hunting organised on a particular day, for example in Morton National Park, what will be done to advise the public?
Morton National Park - map
Some parks are within areas where the local media is not covered by a particular Media service (e.g.. not one local Newspaper or radio service covers the entire Park).
Will they close the Park?
If so, how will they notify the public?

For example, will they close the Morton National Park in its entirety?
How will they notify people entering Morton National Park from the south-east side, via Budgong Creek Fire Trail, (going to Tallowa Dam from Nowra), when the hunters might be operating 50 Km away, on Meryla Pass Fire trail? Or further afield, south from Bundanoon? 

What about local traffic going past Belmore Falls, from Robertson to Burrawang? Technically those roads are public roads, not NPWS roads, yet they pass within the Morton National Park.
Would I be safe as long as I stay within my vehicle?

What about tourist visitors accessing Manning Lookout?
What about the safety of residents living within National Parks (excised areas)?
Or people who live adjacent to National Parks?
Will they close the Nowra- Moss Vale Road, which is a major arterial road, with immense economic significance to the Region? It passes through the Morton National Park.
The same applies to Main Road 92 - the link from Canberra to Nowra.
Ask Joanna Gash MP, Federal member for Gilmore how important that road is.

Surely closing the entire Park would be considered un-necessary, yet, there are numerous foot trails linking the top and the bottom of this enormous (and beautiful) Park.

Exactly how will this scheme operate? 

Barry O’Farrell MP Andrew Stoner MP
NSW Premier Deputy Premier
Minister for Western Sydney Minister for Trade and Investment
Minister for Regional Infrastructure
& Services
Wednesday 30 May 2012

The State’s program of feral animal control in national parks will be extended to allow licensed shooters to cull pests including pigs, dogs, cats and goats in a limited number of areas under strict conditions.

Amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 will mean the feral animal eradication program will be extended in 79 of the State’s 799 national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas.
Shooting of feral animals will not be permitted in or near metropolitan areas, or in any wilderness area or world heritage area including Blue Mountains National Park.

Premier Barry O’Farrell said the Minister for the Environment would have ultimate control over where, when and how volunteer pest shooting took place.

Anyone applying to cull in one of the designated areas would require written permission, have to be licensed by the Game Council, have undertaken adequate training, and comply with the access conditions established by the Minister for the Environment.

“Culling of feral animals in our national parks, including the Royal National Park, occurs already,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“At least 24,000 feral pigs, dogs, goats, foxes, cats, rabbits and deer were destroyed in national parks in 2010-11.
“This is a logical extension of an existing policy - a sensible measure to remove these pests which damage habitat, kill native animals, kill stock, rob stock of feed and damage crops across the State.”

Protections for native animals remain in force, with fines of up to $220,000 for harming a threatened species.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said feral animals were a scourge on farming, estimated to cost NSW agriculture $70 million a year.

“This is a sensible step that will give native fauna and our farmers better protection from feral animals,” Mr Stoner said.

“Farmers do it tough enough without also having feral animals destroying their crops and livestock.

“This will also help prevent feral animals from displacing native species through predation and competition, and from devastating threatened vegetation by grazing and trampling.”

Mr O’Farrell said the amendments would expand eradication programs in around 10 per cent of the State’s national parks.

He said the Government had decided to expand the culling program to allow smooth passage of legislation to sell the State’s power generators (see separate release).

Mr O’Farrell said other animals able to be culled include rabbits, hares, foxes and deer.

Parks and reserves with areas for immediate consideration for volunteer pest control

National Parks
Central NSW
Abercrombie River National Park
Turon National Park
Coolah Tops National Park
Warrumbungle National Park
Goulburn River National Park
New England Tablelands
Bald Rock National Park
Nowendoc National Park
Basket Swamp National Park
Piliga East National Park........ (sic)
Boonoo National Park
Piliga West National Park
........ (sic)
Gibraltar Range National Park
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
South Coast and Highlands
Benambra National Park
Tallaganda National Park
Brindabella National Park
Woomargama National Park
Kosciuszko National Park (excluding ski fields)
Morton National Park
Wadbilliga National Park
South East Forests National Park
Outback NSW
Goonoo National Park
Paroo-Darling National Park
Gundabooka National Park
Yanga National Park
Mallee Cliffs National Park
Murray Valley National Park
Northern Rivers
Yabbra National Park
Nightcap National Park
Richmond Range National Park
Hunter/Mid North Coast
Dorrigo National Park
Watagans National Park
Myall Lakes National Park
Barrington Tops National Park
Nature Reserves
Central NSW
Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve
Pilliga Nature Reserve
New England Tablelands
Gibraltar Nature Reserve
Outback NSW
Big Bush Nature Reserve
Lake Urana Nature Reserve
Boginderra Hills Nature Reserve
Langtree Nature Reserve
Buddigower Nature Reserve
Ledknapper Nature Reserve
Cocopara Nature Reserve
Loughnan Nature Reserve
Coolbadggie Nature Reserve
Narrandera Nature Reserve
Goonawarra Nature Reserve
Nearie Lake Nature Reserve
Gubbata Nature Reserve
Nocoleche Nature Reserve
Ingalba Nature Reserve
Nombinnie Nature Reserve
Jerilderie Nature Reserve
Piliga Nature Reserve....... (sic)
Kajuligah Nature Reserve
Pucawan Nature Reserve
Kemendok Nature Reserve
Pulletop Nature Reserve
Round Hill Nature Reserve
Quanda Nature Reserve
Tarawi Nature Reserve
Yanga Nature Reserve
The Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve
Yathong Nature Reserve
State Conservation Areas
Central NSW
Mullion Range SCA
Mount Canobolas SCA
Hunter/ Mid North Coast
Barrington Tops SCA
New England Tablelands
Butterleaf SCA
Torrington SCA
Cataract SCA
Watsons Creek SCA
Mount Hyland SCA
Werrikimbe SCA
Outback NSW
Goonoon SCA
Paroo-Darling SCA
Gundabooka SCA
Yanga SCA
Nombinnie SCA
MEDIA: Brad Burden or Cameron Hamilton 9228 5239 (Premier) or
Lis Davies 9228 5209 (Deputy Premier)

PS: If they cannot spell Pilliga (National Park and or Nature Reserve) then they ought not be entitled to list if for hunting.
That why I have listed "Piliga..... (sic)"
How stupid are these people?
It is one of the most famous National Parks and Nature Reserves in NSW.


Brigid O'Carroll Walsh said...

Seeing The Warrumbungles on the list reminded me that the most kangaroos I have seen in one place is in The Warrumbungles. What happens if someone decides, to curry favour with the shooters, that kangaroos need to be culled? Are we going to have legislated kangaroo slaughter?

Denis Wilson said...

Quite likely Brigid
I have commented on Facebook already - "the National Party put their bib in, and claim "feral animals" threaten crops of farmers.
That's what they say about Kangaroos.
So do they really mean Kangaroos are Feral animals?
I'll bet they do."
And with Andrew Stoner actually running is State (or everything outside of Sydney) it would be impossible to explain to him that kangaroos are not Feral, and not in need of culling.

Denis Wilson said...

I meant to write:
"And with Andrew Stoner actually running this State (or everything outside of Sydney) it would be impossible to explain to him that kangaroos are not Feral, and not in need of culling."

Le Loup said...

I agree that hunting ferral animals in national parks is better than using poisons in national parks, because the latter also kills native species, but I too have some concerns regarding safety.

Flabmeister said...


Well said.

I had already sent a message to my local (National Party unfortunately) MP and his Labour predecessor, who is now an MLC.

I do not expect a reply from the former - and did not ask a question but just briefly stated my opposition to the plan.

My message to the MLC did ask what the ALP intended to do to make the imlpementation of the changes safe for the public.


Flabmeister said...


Just reading through your post again I noticed the comment "Would I be safe as long as I stay within my vehicle?"

The answer depends on your vehicle; how far the shooter is when they blaze off; and what sort of gun they use. With your current wheels I would say you would be safe if the shooter is using a .410 shotgun and 1km or more away. If they are using a centrefire .303 rifle and are within 1km you should be safe if you upgrade to one of the trucks security firms use to shift cash around.


Judi said...

you're response article is fantastic to this horrific decision. I am horrified as to what goes through the minds of the people making these decisions. I have shared your article on our Australia Wildlife Conservation Page. Thankyou.

Eco Safe Pest Control said...

Thanks for posting this article. More power to you!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Judi
Welcome to my blog.
Glad you liked what I have written on this topic.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Eco-Safe.
Welcome. We seem to be importing he Hunting mythology which seems to be ingrained in American culture.
I would have to say I find that unfortunate.
But clearly not everyone is of the same mind-set in the USA>
Nice to hear from you.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Keith.
Nice to hear from you on this topic.
From what I can work out, your area is surrounded by NPWS "hot spots" where the Hunters Party wants to invade.
Good point about poisons. I had not considered that particular aspect.
Keep well.


Holly Green said...

There have been a number of incidents in New Zealand in recent years where hunters failed to identify their target, but pulled the trigger anyway. In 2010 a young woman tramper was shot dead while brushing her teeth.

I'm not sure even a suit of armour would protect you from stupid people with guns.