NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell stands accused by the Greens and other commentators of immense hypocrisy in reversing his position on allowing regulated hunting in National Parks. I’d prefer to think he’s seen reason.
Now Barry is not averse to giving shooters a kicking, as we have witnessed with the passing of the Ammunition Control Bill, despite strenuous opposition from many of his coalition constituents, most minority parties and some independents. Whatever his logic in pushing through that Bill, we know he is no bedfellow of Shooters or Greens, so I suppose we can expect some balance in his approach and this was borne out yesterday.
If we shooters and hunters take a step back and appraise the O’Farrell Government’s actions on hunting in National Parks, disregarding the electricity sell-off to which it was inextricably tied, we may find a genuine motivation for his support of hunters, which has probably come about through a gradual education process.
In opposition, O’Farrell probably never had to seriously deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party (TSFP) and he had probably harboured the inherent prejudice (or just basic disinterest) against hunting and guns that has grown in our ignorant and over-urbanised society for the last 30 or 40 years. This has been driven largely by scaremongering from Greens and the media, in the interest of selling more copy through sensationalism.
Maybe – humour me here – Barry has just had a chance to rub shoulders with the “two Robs” for the best part of a year and they have taken time to give him a non-biased, factual education about shooting and ethical hunting that allows him to balance the prejudice and put in place better, workable policies for shooters – when it is politically expedient to do so.
In a few words, Barry has seen sense. Have a look at this ABC report a day after the announcement.