Charges laid, but Game Council stays strong

The NSW Game Council is preparing to move on from the controversy over alleged illegal hunting by one of its officers and a volunteer now that police charges have been laid.

Communications and marketing manager Greg McFarland and volunteer Edward Hoogenboom face a number of charges including trespass and firearm charges. Both have had their firearms licences suspended and guns confiscated.

However, according to the men’s solicitor, the charges do not relate to the alleged illegal killing of a goat and trespasses at Kawarn Station and Yathong Nature Reserve, over which McFarland was suspended from his duties.

He said the charges instead relate to alleged incidents around the same time at a location further north, although other sources suggest the charges are related to the original incident. 

Both men intend to fight the charges, and McFarland has maintained his innocence throughout the controversy.

Regardless of the potential outcome of the cases, the Game Council believes its credibility in its role as manager of licensed hunting in NSW has not been badly damaged.

“Maintaining the integrity of the regulatory process is our first and foremost priority and the council is committed to taking the necessary steps to maintain public confidence in the regulations which govern licensed hunting in NSW,” Game Council chairman John Mumford said.

“This organisation is responsible for the regulation and supervision of licensed hunting in NSW. It will not tolerate any deviation from the rules.”

As such, it has cooperated with police and taken the steps such as reviewing its procedures and policies. There is also a separate review being conducted into its governance.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.