Veteran activist and North East Forests Alliance spokesman Dailan Pugh.
Veteran activist and North East Forests Alliance spokesman Dailan Pugh. David Nielsen

Game Council under fire over hunting

THE NORTH East Forest Alliance has weighed into the debate between the Greens and the NSW Game Council about drunk and drugged people hunting in national parks and has called on the NSW Government to appoint a new regulatory body to police shooters.

After the Game Council recently announced children as young as 12 could be licensed as hunters, NEFA spokesman Dailan Pugh called on the NSW Government to appoint a new regulatory body.

"I just don't think the Game Council is a fit and proper body to oversee this," he said.

Hunting is not permitted in national parks but once given the green light, which could come later this year, shooters would be able to hunt in the Nightcap, Richmond Range and Yabbra national parks.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said internal Game Council documents obtained by the Greens revealed a dangerous sub-culture of reckless, drunk and drug-affected hunters had resulted in several life-threatening safety breaches in the past 12 months.

But Game Council chair John Mumford refuted the claims, stating in 2012 over 19 compliance operations across NSW the council issued 15 infringement notices, six warning letters and two hunters had to forfeit their equipment by order of the courts.

Mr Mumford said with the equivalent of 230,450 days of hunting by licensed hunters in 2012 this equalled a compliance rate of 99.99%.

Mr Pugh said the documents obtained by the Greens showed a strong sub-culture of recklessness among a small element of licensed shooters, who could put the public in danger if allowed in national parks.

"There is a strong element of recklessness among some shooters ... some people are drunk and some are taking drugs while they are out there shooting."



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