The Game Council has confirmed it is willing and able to provide its world-class conservation hunting system in 79 national parks nominated by the NSW government last week.
“Our 17,000 licensed conservation hunters stand ready to help our national parks,” Game Council NSW chairman John Mumford said.
As the statutory authority responsible for implementing the functions of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002, the Game Council already operates a world-class safe public land hunting system in declared state forests of New South Wales.
Mr Mumford said the game hunting licence system has provided a controlled, insured and responsible body of hunters who have removed thousands of game and feral animals from state forests.
“We have proven that this system works over six years, with strict licensing and accreditation, the written permission system, and a state-wide field network of game managers,” he said.
Mr Mumford pointed out that the new decision only affects 10 per cent of the national park estate in New South Wales, and does not affect national parks near metropolitan areas or those with World Heritage or declared wilderness areas.
And he added that taxpayers will benefit significantly from the government’s move.
Under the Game Council NSW system, conservation hunters pay all of their own costs, meaning there have been savings to the public for the past work done to protect hundreds of declared state forests.
Mr Mumford said the public can now expect further savings with conservation hunters going into selected national parks on a voluntary basis.
“The bush also wins with this decision from the state government, because the money invested by conservation hunters themselves is now also a crucial factor in the NSW regional economy.
“According to the latest public benefit analysis, Game Council licensed hunting was worth $105.3 million in 2011/12, and $78 million of that was in regional NSW.
“Hunting is a legitimate, healthy and safe outdoor family pursuit,” Mr Mumford said.
Special conditions will apply to conservation hunting in national parks, and the Game Council will be working closely with the NSW government and other departments and agencies to finalise arrangements as soon as possible.