High horse: Evicted users of Malabar will be happy with a Coalition government, although the long-term future is still not guaranteed for shooters.

Coalition promises Malabar to the people

The federal opposition has promised to return Malabar headland to the people who were evicted by the Labor Government, following the successful legal action taken by the NSW Rifle Association to save Anzac Range.

In a joint statement by the shadow minister for environment and heritage and the new Liberal candidate for Kingsford-Smith, the Opposition said last week’s decision by the Supreme Court of NSW “completely invalidates the high-handed approach taken by the Labor Federal Government, local Labor MP Peter Garrett and Minister Gary Gray in evicting users of the Malabar Headland”.

“Justice White found not only that the eviction of the NSW Rifle Association from Lot 101 (the central section) was invalid in law but also that it was conducted in bad faith,” MP Greg Hunt and Dr Michael Feneley said.

“Mr Garrett’s much vaunted hand over of the Malabar Headland to the public has now been revealed by the Supreme Court to be an unlawful lockout of the public conducted in bad faith,” they said.

“This is another fiasco by the man who brought us the Pink Batts and Green Loans fiascos.”

The Coalition has promised that horse riders will return to the Headland within six months of them taking government, if the election goes their way.

Hunt and Feneley did not say whether Anzac range would remain on the headland if they took government, or whether it would be moved to a new location.

All they would reveal in that context was that the Coalition was “committed to achieving a mutually agreeable outcome that will ensure public access to the headland for a wide range of activities”.

Dr Feneley has announced he will stand against Garrett in the next federal election, though admits he faces an uphill battle against the former Green turned Labor MP in what has traditionally been a strong Labor seat.




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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.