Sunday, 3 November 2013

O'Farrell Government identifies parks, reserves and conservation areas in which recreational shooters will be allowed during a three year pest control trial

Robyn Parker MP Minister for the Environment Minister for Heritage 
 Thursday, 31 October 2013

The locations of a three year scientific trial using skilled volunteers to boost pest animal control efforts in 12 of the state’s national parks and reserves have been announced today by the NSW Government.

Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the Supplementary Pest Control trial would be the first of its kind and the independent Natural Resources Commission will review the outcomes of the program in 2016.

“This trial will provide the first detailed scientific information on how volunteers can help reduce pest animals and protect native plants and animals,” Ms Parker said.
“Pest animals such as goats, pigs, deer and foxes cause damage to wildlife and agriculture and the NSW Government invests $38 million a year on pest control in national parks.

“Through a combination of trapping, baiting and shooting over the past two years, the National Parks and Wildlife Service has removed over 100,000 pest animals from national parks and reserves.

“This trial will utilise the expertise, skill and commitment of volunteers who have an equivalent skill and accreditation level to professional staff, under the supervision of the NPWS.

“It will be a true partnership between the community and the NPWS.”

The three year trial will be carried out in 12 national parks and reserves in Western NSW:

Cocopara Nature Reserve, near Griffith;

Yathong Nature Reserve and Nombinnie Nature Reserve and State Conservation Area, near Cobar;

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and State Conservation Area, near Balranald;

Goonoo National Park and State Conservation Area and Coolbaggie Nature Reserve, near Dubbo;

Gundabooka National Park and State Conservation Area, near Bourke; and

Woomargama National Park, near Albury.

In all these reserves NPWS has existing programs to reduce pest animals and their impacts. The trial will aim to make NPWS programs even more effective, through planned and targeted volunteer ground shooting.

Ms Parker said the program procedures and safeguards will operate in the same way as existing NPWS pest control operations.

“All relevant areas within parks will be closed to other users on the specific days that planned shooting operations are underway – just as parks are closed during professional pest control operations,” Ms Parker said.

“No person under 18 will be allowed to participate in the program and only firearm types that are currently used in NPWS operations will be permitted.

“Supplementary Pest Control operations will be planned at least four weeks in advance. NPWS will provide final confirmation to neighbours and the public at least 48 hours ahead of any operation.”

The 30 day notification for the trial starts today, however the call for volunteers will be based on need and the advice of the NPWS.

The program will be administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Service Act.

For more information on the trial -

Media: John McCormack 0467 731 806

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