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A little bird called Amelia tells me that if you live in or around Northcote you could be receiving this in your letterbox courtesy of the Victorian National Parks Association. I hope, Networkers, you get as angry as can be about this and let your displeasure be seen, known and felt.
And here is more:
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Conservation groups today condemned a Brumby Government decision to allow recreational shooting of native water birds in the new Murray River Park, which stretches between Wodonga and Mildura.
A letter obtained by the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) under Freedom of Information confirms that the Brumby Government will allow recreational shooting of native water birds in large areas of the new Murray River Park.
"We are deeply alarmed that the Brumby Government is moving to permit recreational shooting in parks along the Murray," VNPA spokesman Nick Roberts said today.
"This smacks of a sneaky deal, a deal that will severely undermine the protection of 35,000 hectares of public land and endanger threatened species," he said.
The decision to allow hunting in parks and protected areas was revealed in a letter from Environment Minister Gavin Jennings to Field and Game Australia and the Sporting Shooters' Association.
"The Brumby Government has very little to brag about on the environment for this election,'' said The Wilderness Society's Victorian campaigns manager Gavan McFadzean.
"All conservation groups applauded the decision to create new red gum parks and this decision will severely tarnish what should have been the Brumby Government's most significant conservation achievement this term," he said.
Environment groups say the premier has walked away from his strong commitment to fully protect the new Murray River Park, part of a network of protected areas along the river that also includes three new national parks at Barmah, Lower Goulburn, Warby Range-Ovens River and extensions to Murray-Sunset National Park, all due to be formally declared this week.
Friends of the Earth Red Gum campaigner Jonathan La Nauze said allowing the shooting of native water birds in parks is contrary to the State Government's own Community Engagement Panel report and response to Parliament.
"All native animals should be safe in our national parks - including water birds. This shoots holes in the integrity of this new park and risks damaging its eco-tourism potential," he said.
The groups called on the premier to reverse the decision to allow duck hunting in the Murray River Park (a type of crown land conservation reserve) which is due to be formally declared in September.
"There is still time to fix this. The premier appears to be receiving very poor advice that threatens his Government's credibility on the environment," VNPA's Nick Roberts concluded.
For comment please contact:
- Nick Roberts, VNPA - 0429 945 429.
- Jonathan La Nauze, FoE - 0402 904 251.
- Gavan McFadzean, TWS - 0414 754 023.