The NSW Premier has announced plans to open up almost 80 national parks and reserves to hunting, covering close to 3 million hectares or 40% of all NSW parks and reserves.

This announcement, part of a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to ensure passage of the government’s electricity privatisation bill – will allow shooting of feral animals in ”a limited number of areas under strict conditions”.

It has been widely condemned.

The following, from someone living near one of the Parks to be affected, sums up the issues nicely. Check the link at the end for further background. If you live in NSW please sign the letter.

My wife and I live across the water from Kosciuszko National Park and our house is within easy gunshot range of the park. The wife and I spend at least two days a week hiking in the park and the decision by the O’Farrell government to allow amateur shooters to roam our national parks is an absolute disgrace and should be opposed by every environmental group in Australia. Not just in NSW because as the Shooters Party gains more members and more clout, they will surely do deals with other present and future state and federal governments that will impact adversely on our treasured state and national parks and wildlife areas.

National parks were formed not just as quiet natural places to shuck off the stresses of modern living and a place to get away from it all, but to protect Australia’s wild places. Their ecological integrity must remain intact – meaning that the structure and function of the ecosystems with their various wildlife habitats are minimally unimpaired by human activity. Allowing bands of amateur hunters with bows and arrows and high powered rifles and pig dogs to roam the parks is hardly in the spirit that the parks were formed.

Park rangers have slammed a decision to allow hunting in NSW national parks, saying they shouldn’t have to work in fear of their safety – Sure and let’s no forget about the publics safety either !

The NSW government has now said that there will be no shooting allowed in world heritage or wilderness areas – Should we believe them?

Barry O’Farrell has broken a pre election promise not to allow hunting in the parks, and doing so has trashed the government’s environmental credentials. He has lied to the public once and so he will surely allow even more concessions in his dealings with the Shooters and Fishers Party when he needs their support.

I realize (reluctantly) that culling of feral animals in the park is necessary from time to time, but this should only be done by trained National Park personnel, and or professional shooters.

I would bet that over 90% of Australians do not want people with guns and pig dogs roaming their favourite park, and so I believe that all environmental groups in the country should protest immediately.

“Say no to recreational hunting in NSW National Parks”


Please sign the petition here.

For a map of affected Parks, please check here.