Thursday, 31 May 2007
Morris Iemma head keeper in NSW Parliamentry Zoo making governance here a circus?
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
True story: The night sporting shooters
'wanted' to kill me in Picaddilly Circus
8th March 2006
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.
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
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
Mid North Coast
50km E of
5km NW of
15km E of
of Batemans Bay
10km W of
36km N of
4km E of
15km E of
20km S of
30km E of
40km E of
25 km NW
25km E of
30km E of
6km SW of
15 km SW
25km N of
30km S of
10km E of
35km E of
45km E of
20km S of
[Letter follows sent recently by big green group
NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION OF NSW
Hon. Morris Iemma
Level 40 GMT
1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Copy: Hon. Ian MacDonald, Minister for Primary
Hon. Bob Debus, Minister for the Environment
7 March 2006
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.
National Parks Association of
PO Box A96, Sydney South NSW 1235
Tel: 02 9299 0000; Fax: 02 9290 2525
'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
g) The Regulatory Authority should not be the hunters
cc Brian Boyle Acting CEO, Game Council
cc Hon Bob Debus
More evidence Iemma's ALP lock and loading Shooter preferences March 2007
March 2006 posted also at: http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/node/36065
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
you can now consider yourself eclipsed by your own student, young Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW for another ...12 months
of this rhetoric: Substance follows...[but notice the silence from Jeff Angel/Penny Figgis/Peter Garrett is deafening too]
Keith Muir To
Subject: Stop the first reserve revocation for a private development
Fri, 10 Mar 2006 17:06:53 +1100
Protest against the first excision of a NPWS reserve for a private
for Tourism, Sandra Nori has legislation in the NSW
Parliament that would revoke 1000 hectares of the Bargo State
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
Below is my letter to the Premier Morris Iemma, calling on him
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
We have till the 28th of March to get the NSW Government
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,
Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, 2000
Sandra Nori, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreaiton,
Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, 2000
10 March, 2006
The Hon Morris Iemma
Premier of New South Wales
Level 40, Governor Macquarie Tower
Sydney NSW 2000
Alternatives to the revocation of 1000 hectares from a reserve at
The Colong Foundation
opposes the proposed excision of 1000 hectares
from the Bargo State Conservation Area for a shooting complex. The
of a thousand hectare tract of land would establish an
unacceptable precedent of revoking a NSW reserve to allow for a
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
Colong Foundation for Wilderness requests that your Government
commission an independent review of alternative sites for
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
the millions of spent rounds accumulating at the
proposed facilities could contaminate the catchment. The Environment
Authority declared a former shotgun range near Batemans Bay a remediation site (Declaration Number 21029).
lead risk should, at the very least, limit the type and
number of facilities to be consolidated at the site, defeating
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
is the name given to the facility in the legislation.
The proposed facility would be better located on a smaller, more
located site. The shooting facilities in urban locations,
such as at Malabar and Scheyville, demonstrate that the very
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
The need for a 1000 hectare buffer demonstrates that the
proposed Bargo site is inappropriate for a shooting complex.
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
involving off reserve land. The revocation policy
does not allow the protection of one NPWS reserve to be traded off
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,
and clearing of parkland, and increased traffic along Wattle
Ridge Road would detract from the recreational use of adjoining
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
not require such a large buffer area. A much smaller hillside
site, perhaps in the Belanglo Pine plantation, would be more
than the Bargo Reserve and such off-reserve alternatives should be
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness