Will hunting pose a risk to national parks users?

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hunting will be allowed in national parks
Hunters will soon be allowed in some NSW parks

There is mounting opposition to the decision by the New South Wales Government to ‘open up’ some of the state’s national parks to hunters.
The debate has been re-ignited by a leaked government document that has identified a risk that a stray bullet or arrow could hit someone when hunting is allowed in 79 parks from March. The leaked draft risk assessment report has upset National Parks and Wildlife Service staff who will reportedly consider walking off the job in the new year in protest, or simply refuse to collect entrance fees.
Steve Turner of the Public Service Association said rangers had reached boiling point after the risk assessment listed parks’ staff, contractors and volunteers at the top of those at risk of ”projectiles”, including bullets and the arrows of bow hunters.
”They are very unhappy people and really scared about what will happen in March,” Mr Turner told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”It’s like watching a head-on crash unfold in slow motion. Rangers know the day is coming and, thanks to this risk assessment, they now know how dangerous it will be.”
The draft risk assessment, produced by the Office of Environment and Heritage, raises the need for ”exclusion areas” where shooting would not be permitted to help protect rangers. Those would include places such as picnic areas, walking trails and access roads; during fire, special events, fauna surveys, aerial culling; and around park infrastructure, offices and houses.
The report urges park staff to wear high-visibility clothing to avoid being accidentally shot by hunters. Under Game Council guidelines, hunters must wear ”blaze orange” clothing to identify themselves as armed.
While hunting is being trialled in 79 NSW parks, more than 650 will potentially be open to hunters in future. Under the overhaul of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act – which is just coming into effect – just 48 parks, mainly in the Sydney metropolitan area, have been quarantined from hunting.
The NSW State Government has promised the hunting program will be well-managed, properly resourced and carried out under strict supervision.
What do you think of the decision to allow hunting in some natioal parks? Comment below.

 

 

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10 Responses to Will hunting pose a risk to national parks users?

  1. The government uses commercial cullers with firearms in national parks and has done so for years. Government also uses commercial operators to drop poison 1080 baits. National parks are infested with feral animals and exotic weeds. So much for the policy of restricting entry and management to rangers. Restricted “R” licence hunting in remote parks is already known to be successful and cost-effective, and the NSW Games Council reports to parliament. It is regulated and monitored. A risk analysis of table salt would show it is a poisoning risk to humans. A fellow just died from eating 28 raw eggs. Conduct a risk analysis and put a warning on eggs?

  2. NSW parks will suffer because people will stop going and why have the Sydney Met ones been left off the list .
    Once again country folk have been missled

  3. What are they hunting? I do remember sometime (many years ago) a man being killed at the Cotter Reserve, Canberra, from a stray bullet from a shooter unaware that he was shooting into the reserve.

  4. Apalling! Such lobbying by the shooters reeks of the US situation, where gun enthusiasts hold the country to ransom and everyone goes armed, afraid of his neighbour. We will certainly not be going to any park where this lunacy has been approved. Surely we don’t want or need to go down this road?

  5. A comment of the risk assessment may be made after the RA is made public (a leaked draft was commented on in the press) – a good RA will be all encompassing in identifying hazards not matter how remote, the controls required and subsequent risk ranking or likelihood of the hazard leading to harm depends on the cost and practicality of implementing the controls. As I said a good RA will id all hazards – a bad RA will not. Another good measure as to the quality of the RA is the team members – you need participants for all the activities in the RA not just office jockeys in the case of hunting in National Parks and should include hunters.
    Les

  6. Firstly I am not in any way a shooter. In my opinion this is normal bureaucratic tin plating so that they can’t be blamed if something goes wrong and the sensational press has picked the worst case part of the risk assessment to create the reaction they need to keep the story going. Any risk assessment will include a worst case scenario that is extremely unlikely to occur. I believe the damage done in our national parks by feral animals is much more likely to stop me from going there than the controlled culling that will be advertised well and truly in advance and sign posted during that time so that visitors are cognisant of the risks they face if they want to enter the park.

  7. I cannot go into National Parks as I travel alone with my dog. I find it interesting that I can’t go because my dog remotely could cause an issue, yet people are allowed to fire bullets around. If you want to know what will happen …..look at NZ’s history on accidental fire arm deaths and wounding in National Parks.!! We don’t want the NRA here.

  8. I lived for 12 years on property that bounded NP in FNQ. In earlier years we used to see pig hunters regularly so I assume that until early in the 2000’s they were legally allowed to hunt there. After they banned the hunters the feral pigs became a huge problem, we even shot some each winter from our kitchen window! Remember the pigs are decimating the nests of ground birds including cassowaries. In 12 years there were no hunting accidents in that popular park. I must admit though that I also think the total ban on dogs is crazy. If you take the trouble to travel with your dog you are not likely to let it run wild are you? And it can’t do much harm while on a lead. And as for accidental deaths……in that same 12 years some dozen people died at Josephine falls in the park, should we close it to visitors?

  9. The problem we have out there is these State Gov that do not understand how much money we bring to the towns . WA need to wake up & have more free parking & stop letting the caravan park Ass ruling that we all use there parks. Most of the camps cannot cater for the bigger rigs over 30 ft.& over
    Now we have the Victoria Caravan Ass trying to get the Gov to stop all free parking. These State goverment’s really do not understand for a start they do not have enough parks to hold all the travellers & big rigs.
    Then we all know how the price of staying in a park will go up up & up , we need to something about these Goverment’s.

  10. i am all for this, i AM a hunter, and you people who are against it really need to wake up to yourself, you dont have a clue what these pest species do to our environment, they cause our country millions of dollars due to there destructive behaviours. they are causing millions of dollars in damage in our national parks and we cant do anything about it because we cant hunt there, national parks are suppost to be full of native animals so us as the public can go and experience the beautifull animals this country holds and has to offer, we dont need pest species like rabbits, pigs, foxes, wild dogs, wild cats, goats destructing our environment so there will be nothing left to see because of these animals destroying everythinng, they destroy native animals like the quoll, bandicoot, ground parrots. us hunters save the gouvernment millions of dollars in pest management, infact there has not been any hunting / firearm related injury since the introduction of game council NSW. national parks need to be opened up so we can eliminate these pest species from our environment. people need to stop being narrow minded, because i know for a fact that i would love for my kids, and theres to go to a local national park to see our beautifull native animals, wouldnt you?

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