Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mis­sion pan­ders to ide­ol­ogy and ig­nores ev­i­dence

Field and Game - - NEWS -

The New South Wales Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mis­sion’s (NRC) has re­cently pro­vided a re­port to cab­i­net on a statewide pest an­i­mal man­age­ment re­view (‘Shared Prob­lem, Shared So­lu­tions’).

Of con­cern is a rec­om­men­da­tion to man­age deer as a pest an­i­mal, re­move deer from the Game and Feral An­i­mal Con­trol Act and in­clude deer in a reg­u­la­tion un­der the Biose­cu­rity Act. The prac­ti­cal ef­fect of these changes would be to un­der­mine the suc­cess­ful public land hunt­ing sys­tem and to place an un­nec­es­sary, ex­pen­sive and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive onus on pri­vate landown­ers to con­trol deer on their prop­erty, whilst ad­ja­cent public land is left to act as a de-facto sanctuary.

The rec­om­men­da­tions were not sup­ported by ev­i­dence, data or a sober anal­y­sis of ac­tual re­sults of pest list­ings in other Aus­tralian ju­ris­dic­tions.

Of the hun­dreds of sub­mis­sions re­ceived and pub­lished on the NRC web­site less than 10 per cent of independent sub­mis­sions sup­ported the NRC’S rec­om­men­da­tion about deer — none of those pro­vided any ver­i­fi­able ev­i­dence.

Since the sub­mis­sion pe­riod closed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the NRC have taken the ex­tra­or­di­nary step of ap­pear­ing in the me­dia to ac­tively lobby their rec­om­men­da­tions.

The NRC is an independent ad­vis­ery body that re­ports to the Premier of New South Wales.

Nowhere in the Com­mis­sion’s en­abling leg­is­la­tion or strate­gic plan is it con­tem­plated that it would ac­tively and pub­licly lobby on rec­om­men­da­tions prior to them be­ing adopted by the govern­ment. This un­usual course of ac­tion would in­di­cate that the NRC knows it has not gained the sup­port it had hoped for in the sub­mis­sion process, forc­ing it to go public to at­tempt to pres­sure the cab­i­net into sup­port­ing its po­si­tion.

Wild deer pop­u­la­tions in Queens­land and South Aus­tralia have con­tin­ued to dis­perse and ex­pand un­abated de­spite pest list­ings in those states, and the South Aus­tralian Govern­ment is cur­rently re­view­ing its ap­proach in light of this fail­ure. It is uni­ver­sally agreed that the con­cept of com­pelling landown­ers to con­trol deer be­yond a level that suits their own op­er­a­tions is, quite pre­dictably, an ab­ject fail­ure.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.