Conservation Hunters will have access to NSW National Parks, and the State will introduce a new adaptivemodel of duck and quail management before the end of the year, after Premier Barry O‟Farrell today acknowledged his support for bills introduced by the Shooters and Fishers Party.
In negotiations with the Coalition Government, the SFP has also won support for a number of major concessions for workers who will be affected by the privatisation of the State‟s electricity generators.
“The privatisation bill will go through today and we will be moving amendments to that to reflect the deal done to accommodate the workers on these sites,” the Hon. Robert Borsak MLC, said.
The SFP member of the Upper House said he welcomed the O‟Farrell Government‟s qualified support for its legislation.
The control of feral animals in National Parks is an important and expensive consideration for NSW, and the benefits of enlisting volunteer Conservation Hunters has been demonstrated over many years in State Forests.
“Conservation Hunters save the people of NSW millions of dollars and their impact on pest and feral animal populations has been proven,” Mr Borsak said.
“There are around 20,000 licensed Conservation Hunters active in State Forests and on private property, and they remove over 600,000 feral animals every year, a huge benefit for our native flora and fauna.”
He said he expected the legislation would be passed by the end of next month and, subject to the implementation process, the first National Parks would be gazetted as part of a progressive rollout. World heritage areas and wilderness areas would not be included in the program, nor would certain parks near metropolitan areas.
He said the duck and quail would be run under a new model.
“What we‟re talking about is not your traditional open and shut duck season. We‟re talking about a new model for sustainable, progressive utilisation based on species, populations, periodic need for mitigation and so on.”
The legislation will also introduce protections for hunters to prevent harassment from protesters.
“These are all positive changes for NSW, which has seen our precious National Parks suffer under the idealistic "protection" of the Greens.
Australia‟s once vibrant hunting heritage has been smothered and primary producers have been devastated by ducks in plague proportions. We will at last begin to bring some sense and balance back,” he said.
Further information: Robert Borsak (02) 9230 3059, Robert.Borsak@parliament.nsw.gov.au