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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Breath bated for shooters

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Letters – 1 February 2023

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

It turns out that I never knew what dangers existed in the northern rivers national parks and reserves. Man-eating lions that have turned Nightcap into the new Tsavo. Ferocious tigers prowling throughout the Richmond Ranges. Cape Buffalo terrorising Yabbra. Hippo, anaconda, and grizzly bears have indeed been spotted from Broken Head to Brunswick Heads. Just last week I escaped from near-certain death as a wedge-tailed eagle soared above me near Bangalow.

This is beyond insane, the allowing of hunting in national parks/reserves throughout NSW, and in particular the ‘iconic’ region of the northern rivers, a region that relies heavily on tourism and the overall greater community involvement in its parks and reserves. The state of Queensland politics is enough to induce vomiting, but one truly has to applaud NSW for allowing the balance of power to be held by none other than the Shooters and Fishers Party.

National parks and reserves are under enough pressure as it is, and many are in poor condition. This ‘decision’ only makes that worse and places an immeasurable health risk on those who use national parks in the manner they were only ever intended for – preservation and appreciation.

Countless cases exist in New Zealand and America where hunting has resulted in innocent human injury or worse. While feral animals do certainly exist, this is no solution. Collaborative, cooperative, and systematic management needs to be developed involving all landholders, local councils, and National Parks and Wildlife to address this issue.

I am of course, along with many, waiting with bated breath to read some sort of astute plan from the Shooters and Fishers Party as to how they propose to 100 per cent guarantee public safety, and to justify, ecologically and ethically, their position. Of course that would imply that stringing words into simple sentences doesn’t bewilder them, and that they have more than simply shit for brains.

Luke Gaul

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