Last gun-free summer in national parks

Going for a walk in the bush? From March 2013 onwards, the Friends of Durras say you should make sure you slip into a fluorescent vest first.

From March next year the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2012 becomes law, allowing hunters to use guns, rifles and bows and arrows to kill their prey in over 90 per cent of National Parks in NSW - all the hunter has to do is apply online with the Games Council for permission to hunt in the National Park of their choice. 

Friends of Durras convenor John Perkins says bushwalkers should “make the most of the last foreseeable gun-free summer in South Coast National Parks”.

“It’s difficult to understand how the Australian bush got traded away like this,” Mr Perkins said, “but it appears that the two Upper House members of the Shooters and Fishers Party successfully held the NSW Government to ransom. The O’Farrell Government wanted to privatise electricity, the Shooters and Fishers representatives had the votes to get this over the line, and the safety of the hundreds of thousands of ordinary, peaceful people who value a quiet walk in the bush was the price paid for these.”

Mr Perkins referred to an Radio ABC South East interview with Garry Mallard, the Bega Valley Traditional Archers club secretary.

“Mr Mallard said that hunters are required to wear an item of blaze orange clothing and suggested that other park users should consider doing the same,” he said. “Mr Mallard also said that ‘it doesn’t hurt for everybody to see everybody else’ but I’m not sure many walkers think of a National Park in the same way we think of a building site.”

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