NSW hunters have been urged to put pressure on their localmembers of parliament to have hunting in state forests reinstated at a protestrally in Sydney today, the first of what organisers say will be many.
More than 700 supporters of hunting in NSW marched peacefullyon Parliament House to show their opposition to the O’Farrell government’sdecision to halt NSW State Forest hunting and abolish the NSW Game Council.
Speaking to the rally, Shooters and Fishers Party MLC RobertBrown told hunters to keep the pressure up with letters and personal meetingswith their local state MPs to let them know their voting intent should publicland be kept off limits to hunting.
Mr Brown said that the R-licence hunting program had been asuccess and urged holders to not cash in their R-licenses and give up the fight.
Nepean Hunting Club president Peter Johnson also addressedthe rally and spoke of his concerns that hunting clubs faced an uncertainfuture following the closure of the Game Council, which he described as an actof “political bastardry”.
He said the government’s actions had denied shooters their culturaland recreational rights, describing the hunting trial in National Parks as asham.
The former chairman of the Game Council John Mumford remindedrally goers that the council had been suspended without consultation andpointed out that there had not been one dangerous incident involving huntersshooting feral animals in state forests.
Organiser Mick Zoricic said he was pleased with the conductof the protesters who calmly kept on message and didn’t get distracted by the anti-gunlobby.
He said this rally was the first of many and promised more aroundthe state and one in Canberra.
“This is the tip of the iceberg. We want politicians tounderstand the impact of the decision to stop hunting on public land,” he said.“We took 1.2 million feral animals out of State Forests and zero cost to thetaxpayer.”