A prime example of the propaganda and ignorance of opponents of hunting in national parks. Native animals will not be hunted

Matho’s blog: Hunting in national parks reaction

Absurd opposition

Reaction against the impending introduction of hunting in some NSW national parks is getting more and more absurd. Every time another anti opens his or her mouth, a deeper level of ignorance is revealed.

Even federal politicians are putting their two bob’s worth in, although in this case it’s probably just for the sake of a bit of political bullying.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke was quoted as saying, “I worry deeply about how long it will be before we see threats to native species … there is a risk to the environment, there is a risk to people … if you go on a bushwalk to hear the sounds of wildlife, you don’t quite expect to hear .32s going off in the background.”

“Makes you wonder what kind of qualification you need to rise to general secretary of the Public Service Association. Does it come in a cornflakes packet?”

Hey Tony, do your research. Conservation hunters do not shoot native wildlife, let alone people. How do they pose a risk to the environment?! And apart from the fact that there probably hasn’t been a .32 fired legally outside a range in god knows how long, you won’t hear more than a shot or two a day in the background.

Ben Pearson, head of Greenpeace’s Pacific activities, reckons “a national park is for walking, camping and exercising. It’s not a shooting range.”Victorians have fitted hunting into national parks for years, no worries, and that’s without getting into the experience of NZ, Canada, the US and others. Pearson’s opinion on park use is nothing more than an opinion. And, of course, under the rules no national park will be a shooting range. Look at the facts, Pearson.

And then there’s John Cahill, general secretary of the Public Service Association, the union behind the National Parks and Wildlife Service staff who are throwing a tantrum over hunting being permitted.

He says the park workers will “go to work each day to face the prospect of being shot”. He reckons the message going out is that “if you’re a licensed shooter you’ll be able to shoot in national parks”.

That’s the message Cahill is putting out, not those who know the facts. Cahill and all the other obstructive opponents are refusing to spell out the real rules, refusing to look at the reality of conservation hunting, refusing to step beyond ideologically convenient ignorance.

“Recreational shooting of pest animals in national parks is an unproven, untested, expensive and unsafe activity,” he claims. If you take the lessons from state forests, which differ little from national parks, it is proven and tested. And it is patently not expensive or unsafe.

“The only qualification appears be that you have a gun licence,” Cahill says. Makes you wonder what kind of qualification you need to rise to general secretary of the PSA. Does it come in a cornflakes packet?

That kind of ignorance seems to be more than enough to encourage NPWS rangers to hold a rally today at a government meeting being held in Bathurst.

Let them rally. It won’t stop us hunting in our national parks.


Mick Matheson




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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.