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shooters threat to public in forests from 2006

[Article follows]

 

More evidence Iemma's ALP lock and loading Shooter preferences March 2007

18th March 2006 posted also at: http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/node/36065

Iemma must be expecting to lose in March 2007 or at least taking out massive doses of insurance for Shooter preferences in the upper house Legislative Council, if all the evidence accumulating on IMC here is anything to go by.

First we have roughly 30 state forests of general recreation and workplace significance (yes even loggers don't deserve a stray bullet for doing their rotten job) being delivered up to the Shooters Party via the sporting shooters. This despite being against all scientific and professional shooter advice as to the best way to deal with feral animals.

But that's nothing against the desperate need to get votes after the Big Carr Crash being reported daily by Sydney Morning Herald, News Ltd, even sarcastic tones on ABC TV prime time news now. As one senior greenie ngo said last week, Iemma is in Barry Unsworth shooter votes territory now and doesn't want their backlash like cardigan wearing Barry in 1988.

Iemma's ALP is really that cynical with public safety, even after the Port Arthur massacre because you can say people not guns kill until you are blue in the face but guns make it a hell of alot easier. As any 4 year old watching cartoons or playing cowboys and indians with a twig could tell you.

Then we had new laws making dubious characters with criminal or related form getting easier access to their guns, again as if Port Arthur never happend.

Now we have the actual revocation of national park reserve of 1000 ha for you guessed it, a shooters theme park.

Iemma the cardigan wearer like Barry? Hardly. This guy is a cashed up mercenary suited political killer, not by his own hand, but by the pen and voice he uses to implement policy.

That's democracy in NSW, the best money can buy and when enough  people work out they are being shafted its switch to sleaze and dirty deals to manipulate a result even with shooters aka The Thrill Kill Party.

Graham Richardson you can now consider yourself eclipsed by your own student, young Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW for another ...12 months and counting.

But enough of this rhetoric: Substance follows...[but notice the silence from Jeff Angel/Penny Figgis/Peter Garrett is deafening too]

From: Keith Muir To

 Subject: Stop the first reserve revocation for a private development
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 17:06:53 +1100


Dear Folks,

Protest against the first excision of a NPWS reserve for a private
development

Minister for Tourism, Sandra Nori has legislation in the NSW
Parliament that would revoke 1000 hectares of the Bargo State
Conservation Area to allow a private development (a Shooting Complex).

Please write letter protesting about this bad precedent that will remove
the permanent protection of a NPWS reserve for a private development.
Circulate this letter as a matter of urgency to anyone who you think
would respond.

Below is my letter to the Premier Morris Iemma, calling on him to examine
other options than excising 1000 hectares for a private development. Use
elements of my letter if you like but express in your own words
opposition to the excision of 1000 hectares from a NPWS reserve and
please make an appeal for the Government to examine off-reserve
alternatives ...

We have till the 28th of March to get the NSW Government to reconsider
its decision.

In the first instance write to:

The Hon Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW, Level 40, Governor Macquarie Tower,
1 Farrer Place, Sydney 2000

The Hon Bob Debus, Minister for the Environment, Level 36, Governor
Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, 2000

Sandra Nori, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreaiton, Level 34,
Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, 2000

Yours faithfully,

Keith

Colong Foundation for Wilderness

.....................................

Friday 10 March, 2006

The Hon Morris Iemma

Premier of New South Wales

Level 40, Governor Macquarie Tower

1 Farrer Place


Sydney NSW 2000

Dear Premier Iemma,

Alternatives to the revocation of 1000 hectares from a reserve at
Bargo

The Colong Foundation opposes the proposed excision of 1000 hectares
from the Bargo State Conservation Area for a shooting complex. The
excision of a thousand hectare tract of land would establish an
unacceptable precedent of revoking a NSW reserve to allow for a private
development. This decision risks opening the way for the NSW Government
to consider other reserve excisions that would enable the incompatible
clearing, fencing and development of parkland for exclusive private
purposes.

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness requests that your Government
commission an independent review of alternative sites for shooting
facilities located outside of NPWS conservation areas and drinking water
catchments. In the meantime, the legislation that would revoke the Bargo
State Conservation Area should be deferred.

The proposed site is within the Warragamba catchment and poses a risk of
lead contamination to drinking water supplies. The potential for lead
contamination from the millions of spent rounds accumulating at the
proposed facilities could contaminate the catchment. The Environment
Protection Authority declared a former shotgun range near Batemans Bay a remediation site (Declaration Number 21029).

The potential lead risk should, at the very least, limit the type and
number of facilities to be consolidated at the site, defeating the stated
purpose of establishing a shooting centre that would cater for all needs
and stop the proliferation of shooting ranges. Given these constraints,
the proposed facility could not become Sydney's International Shooting
Centre, which is the name given to the facility in the legislation.

The proposed facility would be better located on a smaller, more
appropriately located site. The shooting facilities in urban locations,
such as at Malabar and Scheyville, demonstrate that the very large buffer
area said to be required at the Bargo location is normally not
necessary. Buffer areas are usually only four times the size of the
shooting facility (John Tingle, ABC 2/3/06). I understand that the
remaining 96.5 per cent of the 1000 hectares proposed for revocation from
the reserve is required for a safety buffer (and future development
opportunities). The need for a 1000 hectare buffer demonstrates that the
proposed Bargo site is inappropriate for a shooting complex.

The proposed consolidation of incompatible shooting facilities onto the
Bargo site would also be contrary to the 2002 NPWS policy on reserves
revocation. Excision of a Bargo reserve should be an avenue of last
resort, where there are no suitable off-reserve alternatives. Yet the
Department of Environment and Conservation has not considered any
alternatives sites involving off reserve land. The revocation policy
does not allow the protection of one NPWS reserve to be traded off
another, nor should it.


The Bargo State Conservation Area is a popular recreation area, that
contains glossy black cockatoo habitat, and would be compromised by the
excision of one fifth of its area. The noise from the shooting facility,
fencing and clearing of parkland, and increased traffic along Wattle
Ridge Road would detract from the recreational use of adjoining reserve
areas.

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that better off-reserve
alternatives exist, such as the location of this proposed shooting
complex in the extensive pine forests of the Southern Highlands where it
would not require such a large buffer area. A much smaller hillside
site, perhaps in the Belanglo Pine plantation, would be more appropriate
than the Bargo Reserve and such off-reserve alternatives should be
considered.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Muir

Director
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness

thugshooters2005victoria.jpg

Thursday, 31 May 2007
Morris Iemma head keeper in NSW Parliamentry Zoo making governance here a circus?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

If ever one needed proof the NSW Parliament is descending into farce it's this picture above. It has a heading which is a take off of our satirical culture jam here of May 28th:

Oh dear, blogster Tim Blair implies climate change worrier Rupert Murdoch is in terrorism denial 

Which in turn was about a satire of the green movement by News Ltd. And on the ripples go. Thus the Telegraph's editor got a bit personal with this yesterday asking what goes on the wall of the Greens?:

And the answer of course is not a stuffed capsicum but beautiful landscapes reflecting the true spirit of this country as with our wall at the SAM office:

 
In February-March 2006 the Iemma led NSW State Government launched a policy of recreational 'sporting shooters' in up to 400,000 hectares of our public forests. Even quite conservative critics of the green movement in high impact recreation and the government's own logger agency are apparently very unhappy with this Americanised pro gun, pro hunting attitude here.
 
Here are some strong materials on why this is probably a cynical and unwarranted government policy of little or no value to conservation of the ecology, and likely to create very dangerous public safety problems in the future. An anecdote from a colleague only recently recounted friends in the USA refusing outright to walk in the "nice woods" at their back fence because of the danger of "hunters". This is a culture and a direction alien to Australians and shouldn't be tolerated.
 
What follows is an update of 3rd June 2007, a very real example of just how high risk this policy is, then some more technical detail of the policy via large mainstream green groups here in NSW Australia.
.................................

Update June 3rd 2007

 

This story below ran on June 3rd 07, 2007 at page 7 in the Sydney Daily Telegraph causing suitably appalled and incredulous reactions, not realising perhaps that the Iemma ALP Govt have been working to appease and pander to the sporting shooter lobby for most of 2006 and 2007. This is just the latest evidence of recruitment to thrill kill type hunting, not least the 1 million or so kangaroos slaughtered per year in NSW and 3 to 5 million in Australia generally. However this story is a belated slap down by Big Media with the big ALP govt guiltily sitting on their hands with virtually nil to say. Pathetic hypocrisy really:

 

 

 

.........................................
 
True story: The night sporting shooters 'wanted' to kill me in Picaddilly Circus
 
8th March 2006
 
(first appeared at http://sydney.indymedia.org,au/node/35910#comment-39265)

By Tom McLoughlin, recounting an experience a good 5 years before ever getting involved in environmental politics, as a science and law student at Australian National University.

It was about 1987, a clear biting cold autumn night in the Brindabella Ranges. I had cycled up the unsealed roads of the Brindabella Ranges west of Canberra. It was a blessed relief from the planned government town and the memories of stuffy libraries. I took the trip on my own, the typical lone adventurer, or in this case almost misadventure.

I was “bushed”, worn out, buggered, stuffed, caked in sweat by this time of early evening. The junction of three tracks appeared ahead of the corrugated dirt track I was glaring at from my bike seat, known grandly as Piccadilly Circus at the low summit of  the approach ridge line. Time to rest, time to map read. After some food I thought about what next?

Keep going? Out of the question.

Kip down next to the intersection? Mmm could be log trucks, could be hoons, could be crazies. (What a prescient thought.) It was only two legged wildlife that worried me even as a brash 25 year old.

There was a big clearing of bracken and fallen logs to one side about 50 metres wide so in there would have to do. The night sky was spectacular. It didn’t worry me being out in the isolated bush having undertaken any number of walks, especially the celebrated “Inward Bound” annual competition at ANU.

First hide the bike from view of prying eyes. Then tired limbs struggled with creating some comfort zone inside the tight sleeping bag due to layers of clothes. Sleep of the honest was fast approaching. Then the hum of a car engine from afar.

I first saw the flaring headlights shoving aside the star shine,  winding their way between the trees heralding a more dangerous reality . The engine got louder and the tyres dragged on the dessicated dirt and stones. Was I really out of sight? Could the visitors see the bicycle reflectors? What if I announced myself at this late stage? Best to play possum I thought.

Engines off. Headlights off.

Then the blazing spotlight launched over the clearing methodically moving from one side and edging across scanning each fallen log and frond of green. Then off as abruptly as it violently cut the night. My heart was in my mouth. If I moved would I be shot … by accident, a two legged bush pig. Would I be buried with the negligent crime not a word to be spoken? My weary head raced to full alert. 

The silent blacker than black seconds passed then wham, the beam of light cut the night again. I could feel the searching intelligence fan over my bivouac again. Then again all silence. It was only a minute since they arrived but it was half an hour in my head and I remember it like yesterday even if it was 20 years ago. Fear does that. Real fear, not the movie theatre kind. 

No shots rang out. Just light to flush a kangaroo or wild pig or rabbit. Then deathly silence and black. This happened twice more. I never regretted laying low. I thank God I was out of sight not just by intention but also by luck. It was passing traffic I was worried about not a laser like searchlight backed with the precision of a 303.

Just as those shooters were not thinking a student refugee from the concreted Canberra would be traipsing around alone in ‘their’ forest territory. Obviously theirs, not by title deeds, not by law, or even general knowledge, theirs by the domestic real politik of their gun. 

The stuff of fatal accidents and a bad memory that has only arisen after reading about the Iemma Govt intention to open perhaps 400,000 hectares of public tenure forest to sporting shooters of mixed reliability and reputation. A change prefaced by the 2nd most powerful man in the USA, Dick Cheney, shooting a friend by accident recently. 

But it would have been an accident if I had panicked, had moved, had been shot clean through dying in the middle of no where to sounds of anguished curses of the shooter, before I had climbed Mt Aspiring, before several relationships, before walking the Kokoda Track or seeing the huge obelisk in St Peters Square or the 5000 year old stone shelter in Ireland.

It would have been an accident, the difference is today it is a totally foreseeable, preventable accident in NSW public forests.

[end]
.......................................................
 
Media Release

National Parks Association of NSW

2 March 2006

 
400,000 HA OF STATE FORESTS HANDED OVER TO HUNTERS

 

National Parks Association of NSW are outraged that massive areas of State forests across NSW have been handed over this week to recreational hunters for their exclusive use for at least five years.

 

The orders to declare 34 State forests as dedicated hunting areas comes into effect on 1 March 2006. This will mean that a massive 400,000 hectares of State forests will be out of bounds unless you have written permission. See the full list of areas attached.

 

"The latest hunting orders, along with orders covering four other State forests issued in February, will be the first time the Game Council has used its special powers to close off State forests to all but hunters," said Andrew Cox, NPA Executive Officer.

 

"We do not believe that the Game Council can manage hunting responsibility. It is a statutory body governed by a majority of hunters, created by the Labor Government at the insistence of the Shooters Party in 2001."

 

"The Game Council is dressing up its work to appear to assist with feral animal control, but there is no evidence that they are adopting a strategic approach to feral animal control. Behind the scenes they have been working to undermine efforts to protect threatened species, such as their opposition to the listing of deer as a 'key threatening process' under the Threatened Species Conservation Act."

 

"Recreational hunters are notorious for introducing feral pigs, dogs and deer into new areas, and limiting the numbers of feral animals shot for later visits." said Mr Cox. For example pigs now common in national parks in the Yerranderie area near Oberon were deliberately introduced by recreational hunters.

 

"The Game Council is required to give 30 days notice before the declarations are made, but there is no process to consider objections. The hunting areas automatically take effect 30 days after the notice is advertised, regardless of the issues raised."

 

"Most of the state forests now closed for hunting were used by the public for a range of passive recreational pursuits, including walking, birdwatching, camping and car touring."

 

"Now the forests, many within close proximity to large towns on the north coast, south coast, central west and the Riverina, will be ringing to the sound of bullets."

 

"The Iemma Government must abandon its support for the gun lobby and hand back our public places for everybody to safely enjoy," concluded Mr Cox.

 

 

Contact:        Andrew Cox 9299 0000 (w); 0438 588 040 (mob)

 

STATE FORESTS DECLARED HUNTING AREAS FOR FIVE YEARS FROM 1 MARCH 2006

 

REGION

STATE FOREST

AREA (HECTARES)

LOCATION

Mid North Coast

 

 

 

 

Doyles River

7,821

50km E of Wauchope

 

Mount Boss

17,167

35km NE of Wauchope

 

Orara East

4,500

5km NW of Coffs Harbour

Upper Hunter

 

 

 

 

Nundle

12,503

15km E of Nundle

South Coast

 

 

 

 

Currowan

12,025

18km NW of Batemans Bay

 

Glenbog

8,877

20km SE of Nimmitabel

 

Nullica

18,380

10km W of Eden

 

Yadboro

10,768

36km N of Batemans Bay

 

Yambulla

46,747

40km SW of Eden

Southern

 

 

 

 

Bago

51,051

4km E of Tumbarumba

 

Billapaloola

7,995

15km E of Tumut

 

Bondi

6,562

20km S of Bombala

 

Bondo

32,586

30km E of Tumut

 

Bungongo

5,022

40km E of Tumut

 

Carabost

19,627

25 km NW of Tumbarumba

 

Maragle

16,647

25km E of Tumbarumba

 

Micalong

3,497

30km E of Tumut

 

Tallaganda

26,656

30km SE of Queanbeyan

 

Tumut

1,527

6km SW of Tumut

 

WeeJasper

11,624

40km NE of Tumut

Central West

 

 

 

 

Canobolas

8,742

15 km SW of Orange

 

Glenwood

1,893

15km SW of Orange

 

Mullions Range

4,131

25km N of Orange

 

Roseberg

3,327

30km S of Blayney

Far West

 

 

 

 

Cumbine

10,713

10km E of Cumbine

 

Grahway

8,418

35km E of Nymagee

 

Peisley

1,274

45km E of Nymagee

 

Yathong

7,910

30km of Roto

Riverina

 

 

 

 

Banangalite

1,223

40km NW of Deniliquin

 

Barratta Creek

221

40km NW of Deniliquin

 

Binya

4,086

20km NE of Griffith

 

Buckingbong

11,348

20km S of Narrandera

 

Morago

627

40km NW of Deniliquin

 

Werai

9,163

40km NW of Deniliquin

TOTAL

34 AREAS

394,658 ha

 

.....................................................
 
[Letter follows sent recently by big green group here]
 

NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION OF NSW

Hon. Morris Iemma

NSW Premier

Level 40 GMT

1 Farrer Place

Sydney NSW 2000

Copy:    Hon. Ian MacDonald, Minister for Primary Industries

            Hon. Bob Debus, Minister for the Environment

7 March 2006

Dear Premier,

National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) is concerned about the implementation of the Game and Animal Control Act and the proposed creation of hunting areas in State forests.

Over the last two months the Minister for Primary Industries has published draft orders proposing to declare 38 State forests as hunting areas under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act. The publication of the final order is due to take place this Friday, 10 March that will proceed with 31 of the proposed 38 areas. The hunting orders will impact on the environmental values and public use of 31 State forests, covering a total area of close to 400,000 hectares.

 NPA believes that the Game Council has failed to properly consult with the public for a major change in the activities on public land and appears unable to respond to legitimate concerns already raised.

NPA supports improved efforts to better deal with the serious impact of invasive species. We do not believe that the model advanced by the Game Council will achieve the improvement needed.

NPA urges your Government to delay the imminent finalisation of the hunting order declarations.

We are concerned with proceeding with the current system for the following reasons:

1.      There was no genuine consultation with the community on the suitability of allowing hunting in the proposed State forests. Consultation had taken place with recreational hunters and most immediate landholders, however regular users of the State forests and conservation groups were not consulted. I was told that NPA’s views on the Game Council were well known, thus it appears our comments on four draft orders were dismissed for this reason.

2.      There was insufficient time to respond to the proposed areas and draft orders. The draft order for 34 areas was first published in the Government Gazette on 3 February and local papers at a similar time. The Game Council planned to finalise the order on 3 March, but has since delayed it one week, to 10 March. This gives:

a)     a short time for notification before the order is implemented (about five weeks) and

b)     no time for the Game Council or other party to review and analyse the results of any public feedback, consider how the comments should be taken into consideration and advise the Minister. Any similar process would allow for up to three months public consultation and one month or more for analysis of comments prior to consideration by the Minister.

3.      No demonstrated link between the role of hunters and existing feral animal control programs or threatened species/threat abatement plans. At this stage the Game Council is only making general statements about its role in feral animal control. There is no detail about how hunters will strategically assist with feral animal threats, why and how.

4.      Lack of clarity about the impact on continuing public access to State forests. It has been suggested by an advisor to the Minister for Primary Industries that the public will be excluded from the areas used by hunters, but the details on this are lacking. The Game Council says they will not be excluded. The public would be extremely interested because:

a)     Many areas are popular with campers, walkers, field naturalists, birdwatchers and car tourers.

b)     There are legitimate safety concerns that the public needs to consider in order to make meaningful comment

c)     Many areas have sensitive natural environments and contain threatened species

d)     The mechanism to exclude the public is unclear. Is this done via the Game Council through hunting orders, or by Forests NSW?

5.      There is no information about the next step in the process about refining the areas and timing of the use of hunting areas. What happens next and how is the broader public involved in providing input into this?

6.      There is no independent process for supervising the hunting system, dealing with complaints or enforcing the rules. Monitoring and compliance is currently conducted by the Game Council, a hunting dominated body

7.      The analysis of response by landholders already conducted by the Game Council has been biased and incorrectly suggesting greater support than was demonstrated by the responses.

8.      It is difficult in developing confidence in a body whose governing body has a majority of recreational hunters.

9.      Areas of State forest conserved for conservation (Forestry Management Zones 1, 2 or 3b) will be available for hunting

10.  The boundaries of State forests are often indistinguishable on the ground and bullets could travel into adjacent areas such as national parks or private property

11.  There has been no environmental assessment of:

a)     the use of dogs by hunters

b)     the impact of hunting on threatened species, including those that may be mistakenly shot for a target feral species due to their similar appearance

NPA would appreciate an urgent response to our concerns.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Cox

Executive Officer
National Parks Association of NSW
PO Box A96, Sydney South NSW 1235
Tel: 02 9299 0000; Fax: 02 9290 2525
Email:
execofficer@npansw.org.au
Website: www.npansw.org.au

'working together to protect natural areas'

.............................................

[2nd letter by diverse regional green umbrella group for south eastern NSW]

SOUTH EAST REGION CONSERVATION ALLIANCE

Hon Ian Macdonald

Minister for Primary Industries                     
Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower  

Farrer Place Sydney

28 February 2005

Proposed recreational hunting in state forests (Gov. Gazette 3 Feb 2006 pp. 605 to 740)

Dear Mr  Macdonald,

At a meeting of the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) in Narooma on 18 February 2005 it was resolved that the organisation did not support recreational hunting in state forests. It considers it neither effective nor humane. The meeting asked me to convey the following areas of concern.

a) Results of hunting trials that have been conducted in the region need to be made available to the public.

b) The process may increase the number and range of feral animals in the region, including national parks, due to illegal stocking.

c) Negative impacts on the environment may range from physical damage and introduction of weeds to accidental death of non-target endemic species.

d) Hunting will impact on the safety and enjoyment of the public in the state forests and adjacent lands, including recreational users of national parks.

e) There is a need for baseline data on current feral animal population numbers in order to validate any conclusions that may be made relating to the impact of “conservation hunting” on such populations

f) There is a need for independent monitoring of the process and outcomes

g) The Regulatory Authority should not be the hunters

yours sincerely

Fiona McCrossin

(Hon Secretary)

cc Brian Boyle Acting CEO, Game Council

cc Hon Bob Debus

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