BEN CUBBY June 27, 2012
Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak aims to expand recreational hunting to 751 of the 799 national parks in NSW. Photo: Max Mason Hubers
THE Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has poured cold water on the aspirations of the Shooters and Fishers Party, which wants to expand recreational hunting to cover most of the state's national parks.
In an online video, shot at a gun expo, Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak said hunting would ''eventually'' be declared in 751 of the 799 national parks in NSW. He later told the Herald he only hoped this would be the case if the existing plan to allow hunting of feral animals in 79 parks is deemed a success. But Mr O'Farrell effectively ruled out Mr Borsak's hope yesterday.
''I can't envisage any circumstance in which more parks will be added,'' Mr O'Farrell said.
''Mr Borsak is clearly expressing a hope. I have a hope, which is one that they won't have control of the upper house and [I] won't have to do the sorts of deals that was able to free up asset value of generators in exchange for introducing this program into NSW.''
The decision to allow shooting in 40 parks was passed on Thursday, in exchange for the support of the Shooters and Fishers in passing government legislation to sell power stations.
The NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, has the power to decide if more parks can be opened to hunting. Shooting is hotly opposed by most of the state's environment groups, and the Colong Foundation for Wilderness has said it will use ''all non-violent means'' to stop it happening.
Several agencies have questioned the effectiveness of recreational hunting as a way of reducing feral animal populations. The Invasive Species Council says it is a waste of money and could lead to increases in some feral animal populations because ''proponents have a direct financial incentive to build up populations of feral animals''. The Game Council and the Shooters and Fishers Party say this is not the case.
The Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre said that, while it would not comment directly on the NSW plan, shooting by volunteers was an effective pest control tool in only very rare cases.
''It needs to be part of an integrated pest management plan,'' the chief executive, Andreas Glanznig, said.
''The most efficient way is regional aerial baiting … with aerial use of 10-80 bait. That has been shown to be relatively effective.''