This is a direct lift from the ABC website.
Thanks to Nick Rheinberger of the ABC Illawarra Morning Show on 97.3FM. He is a good bloke (and a good interviewer) and knows I care passionately about the bush. Thanks to Ainslie Drewitt-Smith who put together the News report for ABC Illawarra.
It is such good coverage I can't resist it.
Bowral rally reaffirms community's opposition to shooting in National Parks.
Over two hundred Southern Highlands and Illawarra residents have staged a protest in Bowral against the State Government's plan to allow amateur shooters into National Parks.The rally focused on the impact the proposed legislation could have on the local use of Morton National Park.
Amateur naturalist, Robertson resident and member of the Australasian Native Orchids Society Dennis Wilson addressed the crowd on Sunday, along with NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, local council representatives and members of the National Parks Association.
Mr Wilson used his speech to outline his concerns with the plan including problems it may cause for local tourism.
"If they close the national park [for shooting] what's it going to do to the economy of Bundanoon."
Mr Wilson said the nature of his own visits to local national parks could leave him at risk of being shot.
"I hobble around using a walking stick these days and I crawl around on the ground taking photographs of plants that are three inches high.
"I'm more likely to be perceived as just something causing movement down in the shrubbery."
Speaking at the meeting in Bowral, Greens MP David Shoebridge said the plan, which would allow amateur shooters in National Parks to cull feral animal numbers, wouldn't work.
"They might knock off half a dozen rabbits, a fox, the odd pig, the odd wild goat, but because these feral pest species have such high reproductive rates sending a few amateurs in an knocking out even half a dozen, has no impact on the numbers that you'll have in the forest or the National Park, the next year."
Mr Shoebridge said a risk test of the plan conducted by the Office of Environment and heritage has revealed the proposal could see someone killed.
"Their analysis says there is a high risk of someone being killed if you have unsupervised amateurs or in fact, amateurs, out in National Parks.
"People will inevitably - if this program gets rolled out - will be sharing their national parks with untrained amateurs highly armed, dangerous, untrained amateurs."
Mr Wilson said the community expressed a strong opposition to the idea and brushed off any argument the proposal would help decrease the number of feral animals in forests and national parks.
"Absolutely everyone was in agreement that is was a crazy idea.
"If they want to spend $18 million solving the problem of feral animals in National Parks [the State Government] should fund the rangers properly."