The Department of Primary Industries has reopened 200 NSW state forests to recreational hunters, but the conditions they've imposed has the Shooters and Fishers Party wondering why the Game Council was ever abolished.

SFP not happy with forest hunting roll-out

The Shooters and Fishers Party has hit out at the new state forest recreational hunting model announced late last week, describing many of the new controls as unnecessary.

Robert Borsak MLC told Sporting Shooter that he considered the impost of GPS systems and the extra requirements over the former Game Council model as a way to justify the scrapping of that model for political purposes.

“This roll out is not what we wanted,” he said. “It’s just an exercise in trying to belatedly come up with extra requirements thus justifying the mess they have made by closing the Game Council and suspending public land hunting.

“If governance was so bad, why is this all they can come up with? It’s a disgrace that they have inconvenienced and worried tens of thousands of hunters in the state for purely political purposes.”

Part of the new hunting model requires hunters to be equipped with GPS-enabled equipment with exclusion map data provided by the Department of Primary Industries.

Mr Borsak dismissed the requirement along with the other conditions, such as obtaining passes via the website a day in advance and completing two online education modules, as overregulation.

“GPS requirements as above are unnecessary and yet another compliance impost on what is already an overburdened compliance regime,” he told Sporting Shooter.

“This is the most regulated and controlled public land hunting regime in the world, yet they still insist on more controls that are not necessary.”

The DPI also announced that just 200 of the 358 re-declared state forests would be opened in the initial roll-out, although Mr Borsak said he expected that to change soon.

“I am not happy with the 200 forests, but I understand that this is a staged roll out so expect the rest to be rolled out promptly,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the game unit within the Department of Primary Industries will see the former Game Council reunited, with the former administrators brought back to oversee the rollout of the new state forest hunting model.

This is a win for NSW hunters. There were fears that had the game unit been made up of DPI bureaucrats, simple processes would have become mired in red tape.




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Justin Law