NSW Government’s Hunting Program Impeded

Hunting program has been hindered in national parks due to several concerns. The NSW Government has been planning to introduce a plan for amateur hunters, which has now been impeded for several months while concerns about the managing body surface around the media.

The uncertainty grew when Greg McFarland, Game Council’s acting head was handed was suspended for being allegedly involved in criminal activities including animal cruelty and illegal hunting. Stating that the suspension remains intact, Premier Barry O’Farrell told the Parliament about the completion of an internal investigation which rests with the police department.

Earlier this year, Game Council employee Andy Mallen was also being investigated over claims of straying across a national park and killing a goat. Mallen was also suspended by the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson.

“I also advise that this program will not commence until this review has been completed and the Government is given a response,” Premier O’Farrell said.

Reportedly, a senior public servant, Steve Dunn, has been appointed to review governance of the Game Council. Dunn will also analyze whether the council is carrying out its proper role under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act.

“Given the Game Council’s role in the supplementary pest control program in national parks … this program will not commence until the review by Mr Dunn has been completed and a government response announced,” Premier O’Farrell said.

The Game Council agreed to facilitate Dunn’s review and provide all the required documentation.

“The council looks forward to an outcome that further enhances its services and ability to meet its statutory obligations,” it said in a statement. “The Game Council has already taken a series of steps to independently evaluate its internal policies and processes.”

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