Thanks largely to the Rick Mazza from the Shooters and Fisher's Party, hunters are now a step closer to public land hunting in Western Australia.

Public land hunting a step closer in WA

Western Australian hunters have had a big win, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Rick Mazza. According to a report from the ABC, a two-year trial of recreational hunting on Crown land will go ahead in parts of Western Australia if the State Government adopts the recommendation of a parliamentary committee. 

State Parliament’s Public Administration Committee has recommended a trial using an online booking and GPS tracking system similar to that used in New South Wales.

The committee examined the idea, floated by Mazza, for possible benefits including limiting numbers of feral or pest animals.

The recommendation calls for the trial to be located in two separate and distinct areas, suggesting a reclaimed pastoral station in the state’s north and a state forest in the South West land division.

Predictably, the committee’s two Labor MPs, Darren West and Amber-Jade Sanderson, presented a dissenting report recommending against a trial.

“For good reason, the Australian community has repeatedly rejected the American-style gun culture,” the dissenting report stated.

“Following the tragic events at Port Arthur in 1996 the Australian community has keenly adopted tough controls of gun ownership and an introduction of recreational hunting system would require a weakening of gun ownership licensing requirements.”

Mr West said the recommendation was at odds with the information presented to the committee.

“We never heard any evidence to suggest there’d be a serious impact on feral or pest animals as a result of allowing people to go out onto unallocated Crown land and hunt,” he said.

“We also thought there’d be a massive conflict with existing users.”

In contrast Mr Mazza, who also sat on the committee, said there was nothing to back up concerns relating to impact on other land users or weakening of gun laws.

“That hasn’t been the case, with the information we’ve got from other states…there hasn’t been any change in gun cultures from those states,” he said.

“It’s been very successful in New South Wales and Victoria and I think it’s something that will benefit WA from an economic and cultural basis.

“We’re very different to the US in many levels culturally and there’s certainly no support to say there would be a change.”

Greens MP Lynn MacLaren said the majority recommendation was “nonsensical”.

“I’m just hoping this is one of those Government reports that doesn’t get acted on,” she said.

“Where this has been tried over east it hasn’t worked out and how could we do anything differently to what other states have done?

“These shooters are not trained well enough so if they do hit an animal it’s going to suffer when it dies, why would you support a recreational activity that causes suffering?”

Mr Mazza said he was confident the trial would go ahead, with the State Government to provide a formal response to the recommendation later this year.

“The recommendation I think is fair and I’d like to see that progress further,” he said.




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