Those of us who’ve been watching the HuntFest saga unfold will be aware that the organisers had applied for two amendments to their event licence which, if successful, would mean that firearms and ammo could be sold at HuntFest 2015 and that the SSAA mobile air-rifle range could be included as an additional attraction in 2015. Additionally, the organisers applied for the use of a large area of adjacent land for parking and a great many more outdoor attractions.
The amendments to HuntFest’s event licence went to the vote at a meeting of Eurobodalla Shire Councillors this evening.
Despite the Greens and SAFE’s claims that more than 80% of the Eurobodalla community stridently opposes HuntFest only three members of SAFE (Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla) attended the meeting to speak against the application.
One of HuntFest’s most vocal opponents, Ms Kathy Thackray (head of SAFE) was present, but did not speak to the motions. Another of HuntFest’s opponents, Susan Cruttended, whose non-sequitur letters to the editors of local newspapers are renowned for their emotive and invariably deceptive content, did not attend the meeting.
Mayor of the Eurobodalla Shire, Mr Lindsay Brown, declared a conflict of interest prior to the discussion and left chambers, not to return.
Mr Dan Field, President of HuntFest’s organisering body, South Coast Hunters Club, was present to respond to questions and of course to speak in favour of the amendments.
Councillor Gabi Harding (The Greens) with the aid of her colleagues in the public gallery, attempted to filibust the meeting by asking about minutiae she’d had more than 12 months to inquire about, the objective being to run the meeting out of time to postpone the vote.
Thankfully an attentive Chairperson was aware of this strategy and informed Cr Harding he was having none of it.
Those speaking against the amendments used all the usual emotive claims and deceptions, which included repeatedly claiming that more than 80% of the Eurobodalla opposes HuntFest. However, Council staff advised that this claim could not be substantiated; that Council’s consultation process revealed opposition to HuntFest was more accurately measured in fractions of one percent.
The vote was called and the result was a decisive 5 to 2 in favour of the application.
In June 2015, attendees at Narooma’s HuntFest will be able to peruse and purchase firearms and ammunition (contingent upon PTA of course) and benefit by the participation of the SSAA’s mobile air rifle range as well as increased space for parking and outdoor booths.
Dan Field, on behalf of the hardworking volunteers from South Coast Hunters Club, would like to thank everyone who has supported HuntFest during difficult times, especially those who have taken the time to express that support to Council in writing. Your letters to Council and notes expressing encouragement to the guys and girls from South Coast Hunters have been genuinely appreciated during tough times.
HuntFest’s organisers would also like to express their sincere thanks to those Councillors who were guided by reason and honesty to tonight’s result.
Tonight’s result represents a battle won, but the war the Greens and SAFE have declared on the men and women of their community continues. Knowing they have the support of the men and women of Australia’s hunting and shooting community, a reinvigorated HuntFest is prepared to meet the challenges to come.
This article is reproduced from the FaceBook page of Hunters Against Cultural Vilification.