Tweed Greens councillor Katie Mine has hit out at fellow councillors for not supporting her move to condemn shooting in national parks, legalised last week by the coalition government.
Cr Milne’s motion, for council to write to the government condemning the controversial new legislation, failed to get a seconder just to debate the issue.
Lismore, Byron and Coffs Harbour councils recently took steps to express their opposition to the controversial new law, voting to oppose hunting in their local government areas.
Those councils, like the Tweed, depend heavily on tourism to national parks, with the bulk of world heritage-listed parks on the north coast.
Cr Milne’s motion condemned shooting, especially in Nightcap National Park, which borders the Tweed, because of concerns for public safety, the deterrent effects on tourism and risks to threatened species.
She said the National Parks National Parks should be funded adequately to do the job.
‘The funding for the Game Council equates to $432 per feral animal. This funding should be redirected to the NPWS as a professional body especially when human safety is at stake,’ she told Echonetdaily.
After the vote on Tuesday, Cr Milne was scathing of her fellow councillors’ lack of support for the move.
‘The science says shooting is not even an effective method without an integrated management approach,’ she said.
‘It’s another completely inconsistent message for the Tweed struggling to be promoted as a national iconic landscape.
‘History shows that people regularly get shot in parks open to hunting.’
Official reports say four people were killed in shooting-related hunting accidents in NSW between 2000 and 2010, while scores of injuries have been recorded.
In New Zealand recently, where hunting is allowed in national parks, a woman camping in a park was shot dead by a hunter who claimed he mistook her for an animal.
Cr Milne also took a swipe at her colleagues for not backing some of her other motions on local environmental concerns, including one to take urgent action to protect significant trees around the shire following the controversial chainsaw felling this week of a century-old fig tree at the Chinderah Tavern.
She said they also did ‘not want a report on what it would take to avoid further dam building, or on how much the final end cost of a dam would be’.
‘And the majority gave in-principle support for commercial wakeboarding in Fingal and Chinderah despite an unequivocal staff recommendation for refusal.’