The Shooters and Fishers Party says it is taking a long view of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s betrayal of hunters, and will focus on turning it to their advantage in the 2015 election.
A spokesman for the party said they were not going to be drawn into a knee-jerk reaction by O’Farrell, and that their response would be “careful, calm and considered”.
He said they’d been assessing the situation in light of both the future state election and the impending federal election.
In spite of the measured statement, Sporting Shooter understands the two S&F NSW parliamentarians, Robert Brown and Robert Borsak, are livid at the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Game Council and the outcome of legislation legalising hunting in national parks.
The S&F is meeting later this month with stakeholders in what’s being unofficially billed a “council of war” to discuss options and responses, and this will set the course for their upcoming campaigns as well as how they react in parliament to the O’Farrell Government.
While the S&F said they accept the basics of the Dunn Report into the Game Council’s governance, they were angered by the immediate suspension of hunting on public land and the apparent harsh treatment of the Game Council in light of demonstrated governance issues in other government departments.
This included examples of police storing firearms illegally and NPWS being unable to determine its impact on conservation.
The party believes its legislation allowing hunting in NSW national parks has been watered down to irrelevance by the O’Farrell Government.
“In effect it means nothing to any of our constituents,” S&F MLC Robert Borsak said.
The S&F has seen a surge in memberships over the past week and encouraging hunters to join up or donate.