Protest rally to target park shooters
UNIONISTS, environmental groups and politicians will rally outside Parliament House in Sydney today (Thursday) in protest against State Government moves to allow amateur shooting in New South Wales national parks.
The protesters have timed their demonstration to coincide with the expected introduction of Shooters and Fishers Party legislation that would put feral animals in 79 parks in volunteer hunters’ sights.
Premier Barry O’Farrell last month said he would back the legislation in exchange for Shooters Party support for his electricity privatisation bill.
“This dramatic back-flip by the O’Farrell government changes forever the way the people of NSW will relate to our national parks,” says Kevin Evans, CEO of the National Parks Association of NSW.
Opposition Leader John Robertson says he plans to address the 11am rally, Sydney media report.
“Barry O’Farrell has broken his promise never to allow hunting in national parks – putting his own political interests ahead of protecting the environment and keeping people safe,” Mr Robertson says in a statement.
John Cahill, general secretary of the NSW Public Service Association which represents park rangers, says the legislation would pose a “serious risk” to the safety of visitors, park staff and wildlife.
Other groups expected to appear at the rally are the NSW Greens, the Australian Workers’ Union, Unions NSW, Humane Society International and Animal Liberation.