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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Mr Gareth Ward MLA re Hunting in National Parks

This is an open letter to Mr Gareth Ward MLA, my Local Member.
It is  a copy of an email I have sent to him directly.
This matter will be debated in the NSW Upper House on Thursday.
There will be a rally against Hunting in National Parks in Sydney on Thursday


Mr Gareth Ward MLA
Member for Kiama.

Dear Gareth

It will come as no surprise to you that I am vehemently opposed to the proposal to permit hunting in National Parks.

I have written to the Premier, pointing out that Hunting is the complete antithesis of what National Parks are supposed to be about.
I have heard nothing back from him

I have written to Minister Parker, and received a routine acknowledgement, but no substantive reply.

You may be aware that in New Zealand, where deer hunting is very popular, as many as 8 people have been killed in hunting accidents in the last 10 years.
  • 8 deaths and 3 serious injuries have been recorded in NZ  during the deer  hunting season over the last ten years. In the same time 25 people in Oz have been killed in hunting accidents. 11 accidentally shot themselves, 5 shot their companions,  8 were killed in vehicle accidents whilst hunting. One managed to stab himself. In one case, in Victoria a  man died after his companion mistook him for a deer  and fired twice, shooting him in the back of the head.
The claim by the Game Council that the hunters will be trained, expert hunters is not enough to persuade me that it is no risk to the public, let alone to the native fauna. Furthermore, the hunters pose an unwitting threat to the many endangered species of plants which are found within Morton National Park, which might be damaged by accidental trampling by people who have no idea of the value of many of these seemingly "insignificant-looking plants" (which are precious, of course).
You will be well aware that between Kiama and Robertson, the Morton National Park covers a vast area of pristine forest and escarpment terrain. I regularly access that Park, from Belmore Falls, or Manning Lookout, close to Robertson, or from further afield, near Badgery's Lookout (via Tallong). But I also can enter that Park from Kangaroo Valley, or via Budgong Road (from Nowra side, via Illaroo Road and Budgong Rd, or Budgong Fire Trail). See linked map.

So, my question is how can the National Parks and Wildlife Service or the Game Council of NSW ensure that I, as a casual user of the Park, can be protected when Hunters are given permission to hunt with high-powered rifles, in any area of this vast and remote Park?

As local member, you will be aware that there is no single media source which covers the entire area - so public announcements would be limited in effectiveness.
There are several main roads (Nowra-Moss Vale Road and Main Road 92) which cross the Morton National Park. Surely, from an economic perspective, those roads cannot be closed to suit the whim of the Hunters?

I would be grateful of your support in opposing this proposal.
Please pass my representations to the Premier and to the Minister for the Environment.

Incidentally, I find the photo provided by Mr Robert Borsak MLC to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph to be truly depraved. Yet, he is sufficiently insensitive to send the media those offensive images (in a manner which can only be described as "bragging" about killing a magnificent animal).
I would anticipate that from a purely aesthetic point of view you would find this issue abhorrent. I know I do.
  • Robert Borsak in Bulawayo.
  • Picture: Supplied
Are you happy to be associated with the values that photograph demonstrates?
Effectively, if you support this Hunting in National Parks issue, you would be supporting Mr Borsak and his values (or lack of them) as demonstrated by him providing (to the media) this photograph of himself with his "kill".

Denis Wilson
Robertson NSW 2577

Dear Blog Readers:

If you agree with the view in this email, you might like to follow up by signing the on-line petition:

If you wish to write to your local member, you may check the addresses on the NSW Parliament site.

One final query: Why have the Animal Rights activists in Australia remained silent (or seemingly so) on this issue?

Denis Wilson

My previous postings on this issue may be found below:

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