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Hunting in national parks: 12 year olds take aim18 February 2013
Monday 18 February 2013
Park staff fear plans to allow children as young as 12 to hunt in national parks will further endanger hunters, park users and workers, the Public Service Association said today.
Today's revelation was another sign the shooting in parks agenda was about pandering to the gun lobby, not controlling feral pests.
Under plans being developed by the NSW Game Council, the government-funded body that will oversee hunting in parks, children would be permitted to hunt with bows and arrows in most of the 77 parks due to open for hunting on March 1. 'Black powder firearms' - novelty old-fashioned muzzle-loading guns - would also be allowed.
"Amateur hunting in national parks has always been a disgraceful proposition. Now that the government's own risk assessment highlights the dangers it is also reckless arrogance on behalf of the government," said Ms Gardiner.
"These latest revelations reveal this plan is not really about controlling feral pests - but rather pandering to a gun lobby that has the O'Farrell Government in its pocket."
The PSA is really concerned about the safety of its park staff members, said Ms Gardiner.
"Our members shouldn't be going to work in a shooting range.
"The Government's own risk assessment warned there was a strong likelihood that parks workers would be killed or injured due to the introduction of hunting.
"Under NSW Work Health and Safety laws, Premier Barry O'Farrell and Environment Minister Robyn Parker are the people who have undertaken the decision to expose our members to a known risk.
"When, not if, one of our members is injured or killed, we will be pursuing the employer, the NSW Government.
"The PSA will make sure the two people who made the final decision are held to account under the law for any injury to parks employees."
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