The Annual Conference of the Local Government Association last week resolved to express concern about opening up National Parks to recreational hunting and commercial development.
The Local Government Association is concerned about any move to allow recreational shooting and
plans by the NSW State Government to develop commercial facilities inside National Parks. The
Association is also concerned that the National Parks and Wildlife Act and the Wilderness Act may be
amended to facilitate development.
The Association considered that improved, low-key facilities for National Park visitors and better
promotion to encourage more public use, off-park accommodation and other services will support
local economies whilst avoiding more impacts on National Parks.
“The support to keep national parks safe for nature and appropriate public enjoyment has grown
steadily over the last six months. Many have expressed the same concerns and we hope that
Premier, Nathan Rees, and the Opposition Leader, Barry O’Farrell, will ensure National Parks are not
exploited for either blood sport or by the development of commercial facilities,” said Keith Muir,
Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
“The Blue Mountains City Council working with community conservation groups and through a
network of Councilors, including those in Sydney City Council, Ashfield, Strathfield, Willoughby and
Warringah councils were successful in getting the motion passed through the conference”, he said.
“To achieve effective and humane pest species eradication programs requires fully trained
professionals hired and supervised by National Parks staff, not rank amateurs out for a bit of hunting
fun. Game and Feral Animal Control Bill introduced by the Shooters Party has to be entirely
rejected,” said acting Executive Director of the National Parks Association, Bev Smiles.
“National Parks are for nature first and are more valuable in their natural state. National Parks
already make a massive contribution to community wellbeing and the economy through hosting 38
million visitors a year, protecting wildlife, providing ecosystem services and supporting a nature
tourism industry worth $20 billion a year in NSW. These precious areas should remain set aside from
development and recreational hunting, forever”, said Cate Faehrmann, Executive Director of Nature
Conservation Council of NSW.