Greens slam hunters for drugs, booze
LICENSED hunters have been caught shooting on public land drunk and in possession of drugs and illegal weapons, according to documents obtained by the New South Wales Greens.
The internal Game Council documents show that in the past 12 months there have been a series of life-threatening safety breaches the organisation has hidden from the public, says Greens MP David Shoebridge.
He says minutes from Game Council meetings reveal a free-for-all culture of drugs, booze and illegal hunting.
“For years the Game Council has been claiming that hunters in NSW are safe and that the public had no reason to fear amateur licensed hunters because there were no serious safety breaches,” he says.
“(But) these documents reveal a culture of booze, drugs and reckless use of firearms which show just how dangerous a growing gun and hunting sub-culture is.”
In one case, a licensed hunter was charged for drink-driving through a state forest while his passenger used a semi-automatic weapon illegally fitted with a silencer to shoot out of the vehicle.
Mr Shoebridge yesterday (Wednesday) called on Premier Barry O’Farrell to protect the public from “these weekend warriors” and immediately suspend all recreational hunting on public land.
Last week, Mr O’Farrell announced a review into the governance of the Game Council following revelations that charges could be laid against its acting chief executive Greg McFarland.
He’s been suspended over allegations of illegal hunting, trespassing and the inhumane killing of a feral goat in central NSW.
The taxpayer-funded body is assigned with overseeing the rollout of amateur hunting of feral animals in 77 national parks later this year.
“The review of the Game Council must now be expanded to include the reckless hunting culture that it has been oversighting for more than a decade,” Mr Shoebridge says.