Duck hunting in NSW is one step closer to becoming more than just localised mitigation as the Shooters and Fishers Party continues to make significant progress in reforming legislation after years of restrictive Labor and Greens policies.
the NSW Coalition government has indicated it is ready to support legislation introduced by the Shooters and Fishers Party to allow duck hunting on private by people who hold a game licence, and it is expected to go through parliament tomorrow.
Most media and the Greens are linking the passage of the bill with the O’Farrell Government’s proposed sale of two major ports – Port Botany and Port Kembla – which had been in limbo as the SFP apparently dug its heals in when the government didn’t follow through with its expected support for the duck-hunting legislation.
However, the SFP’s Robert Borsak told Sporting Shooter the ‘deal’ was linked to other issues that went further back, and said the party was negotiating with the government on a number of issues.
The SFP is also expected to gain greater financial support after successfully negotiating for an inquiry into the funding of minor parties in the wake of the government’s recent changes to funding laws. Parties with up to three MPs will be as much as $200,000 better off if the inquiry’s recommendations are adopted.
Parliament will today debate the sale of the ports, and the duck hunting legislation may be debated as early as tomorrow.
While controversial, the ports sale is expected to maintain the AAA financial rating of NSW, saving the public an expected $3.75 billion interest payments over 10 years.
The Greens have again rounded on what they call ‘deals’ done between the SFP and the government.
“Duck hunting, while currently legal on rice farms under a deal cut between the Shooters and Fishers Party and the previous Labor government, is about to become much more widespread,” Greens member John Kaye said.
Kaye was not quite as animated as his colleague David Shoebridge: “First hunting in National Parks and now open season on ducks… These pro-gun extremists have proved time and again that they will try and shut down any government who will not bend to their demands.”
The Greens were also upset that the government would not rule out the approval of other reforms the SFP might introduce.
”Along with the legalisation of silencers and shooting in national parks, the Shooters are steadily extracting their agenda from the O’Farrell government,” Kaye said.
The SFP intends to continue to push for legislative change, following successes such as the introduction of hunting to national parks under the Game Council system, which is on track to begin early next year.
There are also reports that is trying to open the debate about decriminalising sound moderators, a change that would greatly protect the hearing of shooters and have a number of other benefits.