Matho’s Blog: Opening the gates

More cracks are appearing the eco-fascist’s plans. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is on the verge of ripping down the greenwashed walls of his state’s national parks to open them up for a range of legitimate, valuable and basically harmless activities.

Hunting doesn’t yet seem to be one of those uses, but a wider range of tourism, horse access, four-wheel driving and a bunch of other initiatives look like returning national parks – public land – to the people.

There are endless examples of how multiple uses, even by high numbers of people, can work well in the world’s environment without doing harm. Newman cites some close to home – Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain NP as well as New Zealand’s Milford Track – but there are endless others. From what I’ve seen, the US appears to do a great job of protecting its land without locking everyone out.

And the Yanks hunt their national parks. A lot.

NSW hunters are being bashed from all sides over hunting in national parks. All the arguments are being dragged out, from the teary eyed don’t-hurt-Bambi brigade to the supposedly scientific mob who claim recreational hunting will add to the number of feral animals. We have good and valid arguments against them all, but there’s one card we should start playing more frequently – that of legitimate recreational enjoyment.

I like hunting. Put aside the facts that it does eradicate ferals, it does keep my chickens safe, it does contribute to the economy and it does put food on my table. I simply like doing it. And what is wrong with that?

Hunting is in our genes. The twits who say humans have evolved out of it are simply wrong, and on so many levels. The ones who say it is barbaric are also wrong, with no idea of what hunting really is or how it compares with what happens in the rest of the natural world. Those who condemn us for enjoying the hunt miss the point completely.

All of them believe in their own moral superiority, but that does not give them any right to stop us hunting. I love the irony of hunting’s greatest political enemies, the Greens. They push hard for the rights of homosexuals to marry without seeing that their anti-hunting arguments are almost identical to their opponents’ stance against marriage equality. Ah, but who said the Greens had to be logical or consistent?

Newman is foreshadowing a major reduction in the restrictions and bureaucracy of Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act and big growth in tourism in national parks. He has slammed Queensland Tourism’s approach to date and told it to get its act together.

Let’s hope we see sweeping changes in Queensland. Let’s hope we also see major change in NSW when the findings of the parliamentary inquiry into the use of public land are revealed next year. Let’s hope Australians begin to see the light provided by NZ, the US and others about sustainable use of the people’s land.

And let’s hope hunting becomes an increasingly accepted and important part of it.

Footnote: Check out how Colorado, USA, encourages hunting on its public lands.




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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.


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