Katter's Australian Party calls on national parks to be opened for recreational hunters to help eradicate feral animals
Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
- couriermail / queensland / katters-australian-party-calls-on-national-parks-to-be-opened-for-recreational-hunters-to-help-eradicate-feral-animals
HUNTERS with high-powered rifles and pig dogs will soon be patrolling national parks, if Katter's Australian Party has its way.
KAP Member Shane Knuth said yesterday that national parks should be opened up to recreational hunters as a cheap way of ridding Queensland of feral pests.
Hunters could shoot pigs, cats, foxes and brumbies - all of which were in the millions - and possibly crocs and flying foxes, he suggested.
Mr Knuth's call followed a decision by the NSW Government to allow hunting in its 79 parks after a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party in exchange for support for an electricity privatisation Bill.
But National Parks Association executive co-ordinator Paul Donatiu said the idea of recreational shooters and dogs in parks was the antithesis of the reasons for creating parks. He said that on safety grounds alone, the issue should never be considered.
However Mr Knuth said if there were concerns about high-powered rifles being used near populated areas, pig dogs could be used.
Mr Donatiu said there was no need for such a radical move, given the Government already conducted shoots on pigs, brumbies and cats.
"Contract shooting already happens in parks such as Currawinya and Carnarvon," he said.
As well, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia members - overseen by rangers - shot foxes, cats, dingoes and rabbits at Taunton National Park and Avocet Nature Refuge in central Queensland as part of efforts to save endangered bridled nail-tail wallabies.
Mr Donatiu said the QPWS went to great lengths to ensure the highest ethical and humane standards were met, but there would be no controls on amateurs.
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said he would not allow "anybody and everybody to go shooting in national parks" and said recreational hunting was widely acknowledged as being ineffective in long-term reduction of feral animals.