Saturday, 9 June 2012
A few years back The Daily Examiner had a prize (a Lottery/Lotto ticket pack) for the week's best letter to the editor. If such a prize still existed it would surely have to go to John Edwards of South Grafton for his letter in today's Examiner.
Shooters and Fishers
Following the announcement of a Shooters and Fishers Party-sponsored inquiry into the management of public land, the Clarence Environment Centre wrote to the Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, posing three questions.
One of these was: "Would you support the opening up of national parks to recreational hunting?"
On May 22 we received the following response: "There is no proposal for recreational hunting in national parks in the Clarence electorate being considered by me or the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government."
Less than 10 days later the Government announced 79 national parks and nature reserves where recreational hunting will be allowed.
I'll let readers form their own opinion on their member's response.
Among the affected parks that have been reported in the media are Kosciuszko and Dorrigo, which are among the most visited reserves in Australia, and where tourists will now experience the tranquillity of those forests being shattered by the noise of gunfire, and the possibility of being shot.
The decision has outraged many in the community, but has been welcomed by hunters who claim they are the answer to feral animal control.
However, if there is a serious feral animal problem, it is because successive governments have failed to properly fund control programs.
Recreational shooters have been hunting in state forests for over five years, and I challenge anyone to produce evidence that they have had any significant impact on feral species in those forests.
In fact last year the national parks service had to run local eradication programs for feral pigs which they believe were deliberately introduced by hunters.
In trying to justify breaking an electoral promise, Barry O'Farrell claims it was necessary to balance political expedience with public interest.
This isn't the first time this government has sacrificed public interest, and I'll guarantee it won't be the last.
John Edwards, South Grafton