Political deal may allow hunting

A deal between The Shooters Party and the NSW Labor government may soon allow hunting in National Parks.

The bill was first introduced to parliament by Shooters Party member Robert Brown in June and they have effectively held the government to ransom by refusing to pass any of their legislation in the upper house.

A report in Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald suggests the government is prepared to allow hunting in 13 National Parks if the Shooters Party removes demands for enclosed game reserves or safari parks from its draft legislation.

It is believed that talks between The Shooters Party and the new environment minister John Robertson resumed in September with treasurer Eric Roozendaal

also attending.

Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon said the proposal raised concerns about Mr Robertson's ability to handle the environment portfolio.

“Hunting in national parks has nothing to do with managing feral animals. It is an attempt by Labor to do a deal with the Shooters Party MPs to secure support for their legislative program,” she said.

Animal rights advocate Amber Hall from the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre's Animal Law Project said she applauded the government's continuing commitment to prohibit private game reserves, but questioned why they would then allow hunting in National Parks.

“Private game reserves are unlawful because they inflict pain and suffering on animals. Why then, is the pain and suffering of animals in National Parks any different?” she asked. “Shooting animals causes pain and suffering and that (should be) enough to make it unlawful.”

Neither Mr Robertson nor Mr Brown wished to make any comment but Mr Brown told the Herald he would continue to frustrate the government until his bill was passed in its entirety.


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