THE MANY TOURISTS who holiday, or own property, in Eurobodalla Shire are entitled to know the latest on the HuntFest saga.
This annual event has grown from a photographic competition and explanation / justification of animal killing in 2013 to its present, far more dangerous form. The original event licence, providing access to a public site in the heart of Narooma, was given by the Eurobodalla Shire Council to the local shooters and fishers club for five years. There were assurances there would be no sale of guns.
Since then there have been significant changes, but still no community consultation.
First, in 2014 came the promotion of guns, along with other attractions designed to make gun ownership more attractive to adults and children alike. Next, and perhaps even more significantly, came the five-year extension of the licence until 2022, and the advertised partnership with the Australian Sporting Shooters Association. This organization aims to increase gun ownership and areas where hunters can shoot, as well as and lowering the age at which a child can legally use a firearm.
Would you allow your ten-year-old child access to a firearm?
Do you want our unique wildlife placed at risk by recreational hunters?
In the face of Australia-wide concern over gun proliferation (as demonstrated by the holding of a gun amnesty) it was perhaps even more surprising that local council decided to ignore public opinion and refuse to rescind or even re-consider allowing a festival of hunting with sale of guns on community land.
The gun lobby has already spoken out. It’s time for council to listen to the majority view of nature lovers before our unspoilt South Coast becomes Hunters’ headquarters.