Queensland must follow the lead of NSW and let hunters into national parks, say political parties on both sides of the border.
The Shooters and Fishers in NSW and Katter’s Australian Party in Queensland today both called on the new state government to allow hunters to join the fight against feral animals in national parks.
“The New South Wales government has passed sensible policy to allow hunters into national parks to control feral animals,” KAP state leader Rob Katter said. “Queensland should do the same.”
SFP MLC Robert Borsak praised the Queensland government for announcing it will scale back the ‘Green tape’ around its national parks but said it should also open the door to hunters.
“It is a great shame that the conservative Queensland government isn’t following the excellent example of the NSW government by setting up a Game Council and opening national parks to volunteer conservation hunters,” Mr Borsak said.
Both politicians referred to the costs of controlling feral animals and the value of using hunters.
“With Queensland’s budget in such dire straits every opportunity should be taken to reduce environmental damage and increase agricultural output,” Mr Katter said, noting that feral pigs cost the state $50 million a year.
“A Queensland government report found that hunters could eliminate up to 20 per cent of the feral pig population and add millions to the economy,” he said.
Hunters licensed by the Game Council were found to have contributed almost $30 million in direct benefits to NSW during 2010/11.
“How will Queensland control the massive feral problems it has without enlisting volunteers to get in there and help?” Mr Borsak asked. “I am sure there are tens of thousands of hunters in Queensland who would step up.”